Lakers Acquire 46th Pick, Select Jordan Clarkson

Darius Soriano —  June 26, 2014

I will be completely honest, even though the Lakers were rumored to want to acquire a 2nd round pick I did not think they would be able to do so. I thought their night was over after selecting Julius Randle 7th overall. I was wrong.

Mid-way through the 2nd round, the Lakers found a team willing to dump their 2nd rounder and acquired the 46th pick in the draft from the Washington Wizards for cash considerations. With the Lakers on the clock, they selected Missouri point guard Jordan Clarkson.

I don’t know much about Clarkson. A survey of his Draft Express page tells me that he’s a big point guard, standing 6’5″ in shoes with a more than respectable 6’8″ wingspan. He is good athlete, showing off an ability to finish above the rim when in the open court and through contact when the lane is crowded. Considering he also flashes a nice burst off the dribble due to his quickness, he looks to be a solid attack-style guard who can find his niche as guy who looks to get to the lane with the ball in his hands and a slasher when working off it.

All in all, I am happy with this pick for a variety of reasons. First, the Lakers need players to compete in camp and while they used resources to acquire this pick if he doesn’t pan out the team is only out some money. Considering the Lakers almost print money from the combination of their TV deal and gate receipts, this investment isn’t but a drop in the bucket when it comes to their overall resources. Second, however, is that this kid really looks like he has the physical tools that, if developed through hard work, can find a way to stick in the NBA.

A player with his combination of quickness and size is a nice template for a backcourt player in this league, especially if he can initiate an offense. If he can improve the accuracy on his jumper it will allow him to use his raw physical gifts to his advantage and find a role in the league as an off the bounce creator who can create his own shot against smaller counterparts.

Of course, all of that is far down the line. He must show that with his physical tools comes an ability to pick up the mental aspects of the game, take to coaching, and put in the work needed to improve in his weak areas. If he really will be a point guard, he must improve on his ability to create for others and show better instincts for making plays that help his teamates thrive. Further, he will need to show that his size and quickness that he deploys to his advantage offensively can be converted into defensive ability as well.

There is a lot of work to do, then. But, he will have his shot.

After he was drafted Mitch Kupchak mentioned that he was higher on their draft board than the 46th best prospect in this draft which lines up with Draft Express ranking him 31st on their board. If he can play more like a fringe first rounder, rather than a middling 2nd round pick, the Lakers may have just found them a player. Time will tell.

In any event, here are a couple of clips to get you familiar with Clarkson. The first is a clip of a pre-draft workout and interview where Clarkson is refining some of the skills he will need to have as a lead guard in this league. The second is full scouting report from Draft Express. Enjoy.

Darius Soriano

Posts

166 responses to Lakers Acquire 46th Pick, Select Jordan Clarkson

  1. Warren Wee Lim June 26, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    And he’s half-Filipino.

  2. Warren Wee Lim June 26, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    I’d like to throw in my 2 cents for our night… And its quite amazing! We picked up real talent in Randle and one we can not expect too much from but could really surprise us in Clarkson.

    So we really need to sign Kelly now… Damn you Eric Pincus!

    In all seriousness, this is the kind of hope we need to move forward. Dont rush into things take it 1 at a time. Next stop is free agency and I hope Hawes and Hill find their way into our frontcourt. Id be happy with just one too.

    Melo… He needs to consider Dallas, Chicago and Houston. Then ultimately decide this is where he needs to be. Lebron is raining on his parade being the top free agent.

  3. Great value at 46 and we’ll take anyone we can get at this point. Like how he moves in transition. Less worried about the tunnel vision in the half court as I can’t see him iso’ing much.

  4. Great pick! I had hoped the Lakers would buy a 2nd rounder, and this is a guy I really liked for the second round. He definitely dropped–legit skills and athleticism. Stoked.

  5. Call me stupid but what I just saw Clarkson is equal to the clips I saw of Exum and several ilmillion cheaper.

    Could be a real find and looks way better then Marshall.

  6. Clarkson looks good – except for that jumper. Looks like it needs a lot of time and space. Low release too. But the quickness and first step? Love it as a second rounder.

  7. Mitch kupchak has already implied Jordan will make the team. We have 6 player on the roster. What’s next?

  8. wow. I am stoked I am not gonna lie. I was hoping we buy a 2nd round pick and get either one of Jordan Clarkson or Spencer Diwindie. I wake up and somehoww we’ve drafted him. Wow..I love you Mitch. Go Lakers!

  9. DS, $1.8 mil is chump change?! Like Clark’s height for the 1 and ability to bang inside but hopefully his fundamentals aren’t too bad (per scouts). IMO, I’d give FO’s moves a B. Could’ve done more given the current needs but acquiring a banger inside and youth for the 1 addresses current needs somewhat tho Randle will likely get the nod to start if his health permits it.

  10. Renato Afonso June 27, 2014 at 3:24 am

    Don’t know the kid but liked these videos, but that isn’t worth much in my opinion. I think that, given his size, maybe he can turn into a good perimeter defender but I’m not sure he can. On ball defense at PG is as much instinct as it is hardwork so while he may improve, I’m not sure he’ll ever get “there”.

    Anyway, I’m more interested in knowing if he’s now our 3rd PG. Does this mean that we’re making a splash at PG in FA with Bledsoe or Lowry while Nash fades into our second team (if healthy)? Does this mean that we’re keeping Farmar and he becomes our starting PG? It leads to some interesting backcourt questions. And how stays as a backup to Kobe at 2? Does Kobe move to the 3 spot and we have two empty slots in our roster for SG’s?

    Interesting times…

  11. Warren Wee Lim June 27, 2014 at 3:37 am

    If Jordan Clarkson is what he is, he could be what we intended to pick w/ Marcus Smart.

  12. Hopefully the D-League will get Clarkson to polish his skills…

    The thing is… WHO IS THE HEAD COACH?

    The D-Leaguers cant practice a system that doesnt yet exist…

    Oh well… P&R and a litlle triangle… but good time to get those decision making skills regarding what is considered a good open look as well as get accustomed to bigger dudes in the NBA.

    I was hoping the Lakers also picked up another Big… Walter Tavares comes to mind… but man, the Lakers original 2nd round pick to the Suns would have landed this 7’9″ wingspanned Center.

    We’ll see what FA brings… But the starting 5 looks like:
    Nash/Farmar; Kobe; Xavier(if re-signed); Randle; Sacre…
    and hopefully the bench has Bazemore, Swaggy, Kelly, J. Hill still around…

  13. Jordan looks like a very nice prospect. His shot does not look too bad. His release is a little late, so he gets no power from his legs at all, thus the flat shot. Looks to me like something that could be fixed.

  14. Hi-lights reels truly did their job. This guy looks legit…until you check out his weaknesses, especially at the one, ouch! But still definitely worth a shot.

  15. Can someone tell me the status of Jodie Meeks for the Lakers?

  16. There is no status because the FA period have not even started yet.

  17. Fern, I am aware of that however I just mean is there interest in retaining his services long term by the front office?

  18. Just remember, you could write all the same things about Darius Morris….

  19. There are reports that Iowa State beast DeAndre Kane will be on the Lakers summer league roster. Heck of a college player who could and probably should have been drafted but his relative old age of 25 prevented that. Hope he makes the regular season roster because he was amazing last year in College and continues to improve his game.

  20. Yay ….kane is on our summer league team… hoping he makes the team

  21. melcountscounts June 27, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Hope Randle isn’t a bit too short, but he seems like pretty solid player, and more ready to step in than some others.

    Excited about Clarkson, he’ll be working every day from now to when camp starts, he has skills and ability. New is good, time to get this roster it’s own identity, not just a bunch of castoffs.

  22. He needs to change something !! .. no green shoes for any lakers :)

  23. I forgot we could even buy a second rounder.
    Nice move, Mitch!
    If they had Clarkson as the 31st best then I’m sure they’re happy.
    Buying a pick is one way of using some of their TWC $ while still grabbing talent that won’t encroach too much on CBA salary cap restrictions.
    Clarkson reminds me a bit of Zach Lavine.

    Randle’s stock early in the year was in the top 3 so we really may have snagged a winner here. In addition to his double-double potential he sounds bright, motivated and enthusiastic to be a Laker.
    Not too shabby!

  24. Buying a pick is one way of using some of their TWC $ while still grabbing talent that won’t encroach too much on CBA salary cap restrictions.

    ——-

    Well put, JC. Exactly; the Lakers need to use the leverage they still have, intelligently.

    This looks like a promising step in the right direction.

  25. To me it looks like with draftong randle we will be hiring lionel hollins as a coach and resigning gasol to be an improved version of memphis with kobe taking over the main ball hamdling compared to conley

    We most likwly are going to miss out on the big fas and given our age and strenghths in the halfcourt with kobe gasol and randle it would make sense to slow the game down

    Scott has only done well with a top level pg at each of his stops in kidd, paul, amd irving and if we would have taken smart that might have been the way to go but to me it looks like we could be a team built in the hollins mold

    Really hoping we resign
    - pau
    - hill
    - bazemore
    - young
    - farmar
    - kane makes the team
    - we somehow flip nash at the deadline

    I dont know if we will actually sign a 2nd tier star to an 8 figure contract outside of possibly gasol at 8-11 range

    I dont think Hawes would be the answer as a 3rd big since we would still need shot blocking with randle being kind of short

  26. ok mitch, I see you. This was a nice move just to be able to get another player from the second round and it brings another talented body to camp as some mentioned. Clarkson reminds me a lot of afflalo, he might even be a better play maker but he brings in athleticism and defense right away and played in a very good program. I think this was a steal for the Lakers as well as Randle, now hopefully we hire a coach to coach them haha. and he’s another young player that will beneFit from being around kobe if he does make the team. I really hope the Lakers resign Xavier Henry if he is healthy I think he’s very versatile and is ready to contribute next year, as well as Farmar he’s too primed if healthy not to do really good things in this league and showed flashes last year, meeks is another player who I feel the Lakers should retain because of his work ethic and skill set he’s just very very solid and professional and can fill a very nice roll for the Lakers. Wesley Johnson is another guy I think we should resign just because we can get him for cheaper and he hasn’t realized how good he is and hopefully he does that during a playoff run. Jordan Hill is a big man on any team and if we can get him at a decent price I would love to see him back but wouldn’t break the bank. I would also like to see the Lakers do anything to get rid of Nash and then I will truly start to feel better about the future.

    That gives us:

    Clarkson, Farmar, Kobe, Meeks, Xavier, Johnson, Randle, Hill. That’s not a bad place to start. If the Lakers can lure a quality pg in free agency i.e. Stephenson, Bledsoe. and sign another big who can protect the rim and rebound. This is a playoff team with a healthy kobe and would set itself up next year nicely to lure a nice free agent and go for it. If that doesn’t work I could see kobe saying I’ve given a solid 20 yrs to the Lakers but I want another ring and go sign the veterans minimum or or a low amount to team up with phil and fisher in new York in a 3rd fiddle roll. It’s exciting because I can see kobe winning his sixth ring before it’s done.

  27. this is my post above ^ on my feed is says anonymous, that would be cool if anonymous was the same watch dog organization and actually commented here.

  28. If Randle gives us 18 and 8 ….isn’t much better then What Hill was giving us…Now if you can give Hill minutes behind Randle then we improve..if not..then we are basically still where we are from last season….

  29. Thanks for the kudos R.
    gene – right?
    Randle’s numbers should be similar to Hill, so together they make a nice front line.
    We will need Pau to come back or we’ll be stranded up front – I would like to see Hollins at the helm but 3 interviews for Scott must mean something.
    I like Scott as coach and if it means we may land the point guard he’s familiar with from the Midwest…
    then if we add FAs like Stephenson or Bledsoe we could be pretty, pretty good.

  30. hey darius: genuine appreciation for the updates you provide for all things lakers. keeping up with the rapid fire happenings and providing analysis as they occur can at times be a real chore. only a real love for the game and of a franchise can keep one’s vision focused forward and in tune to the pulse of laker nation.

    your thoughts on hiring a coach sometime this weekend prior to laker negotiations with prospective free agents beginning july 1st??

    Go lakers

  31. i hoped the lakers would acquire another #1 pick, and in a way they did with a guy kupchak projected as a mid-first rounder.

  32. Darius proves to be a draft day beast: He had the Clarkson post up before I knew it happened . . .

  33. I´ve been in a good mood all day `cause of what´s transpired; and `cause training camp officially opened down at UC Irvine today! ;)

  34. July 1 strategy: Plan A: Bron/Melo. Doubt it comes to fruition.

    Plan B: Pursue at least one of these guys: Lance Stephenson, Gordon Hayward or Eric Bledsoe. Stephenson is a UFA; Hayward and Bledsoe RFAs. Indiana will pay to keep Lance, but you never know. Hayward may be pursued and signed by Phoenix. which might make prying Bledsoe away easier. Of these guys I absolutely like Hayward the best. Great skills, shooting range, size, underrated athlete. Had a so-so year on a crappy, dispirited team. Scorer, facilitator, and space creator with his range. I’d overpay for him and watch Utah wilt.

  35. I’m very pleased with this draft. In a previous post, just before the draft began, I suggested that there could be a few dark horses in the draft who could surprise over time. One of the ones I mentioned was Jordan Clarkson. He has great size and is fearless in getting to the rim. He doesn’t shy away from contact and can play either guard position. He needs only to work on his shot which, as The Dane said earlier, can be remedied. He also has to tighten up his D. But there’s a lot to work with. He’ll learn the first year or so. But he could contribute in years 2 and 3.

    Julius Randle will play–and contribute–right away. He’s a double-double waiting to happen. He, too, has to work on his defense. But that will come in time.

    So…the Lakers came away from this draft with a PF and a combo guard. Both have promise. At least one can play right away. I have to give the FO a grade of A on this one. (And I haven’t always sung their praises.)

    The re-build begins.

  36. Now that the Lakers drafted a big, the Lakers will hopefully go after a PG this summer (instead of someone like Greg Monroe). Both Lowry and Bledsoe do not have good histories when it comes to health, but I trust Lowry’s ability to stay healthy more than Bledsoe’s. Lowry has at least shown that he can stay healthy as a starter for an entire season. He is the better outside shooter, and is also better at playing off the ball. He should have no problem meshing with Kobe after playing with a ball dominant SG in DeRozen.

    If Kobe can somehow recruit Carmelo, that’s a pretty formidable starting lineup with Randle at the PF slot.

  37. I know a lot of people are focused on the Melo/’Bron rumors, but there are two very good targets for this offseason: Kyle Lowrie and Kyrie Irving. I would put either of these guys as our “plan a” above getting Melo on this team as I do not think Melo is the answer for anything that ails us. Of couse, having Lebron dress in purple and gold would be a dream come true, but I admit that possibility is fairly remote, although I continue to believe that if he does join the Lakers it will be for the “non-basketball reasons” that I have previously elaborated on (AKA Manny’s Fantasies that rr keeps taking apart with logic and reality).

  38. Darius: Now that the draft is over, I’m hoping you will pen the annual “trade thread ideas” column where we are given free reign to speculate/postulate trades. Would love to hear some of the ideas/dreams people have out there – including yours.

  39. Manny i never held any ilusions about those 2, most of all bc i dont want neither one of them near my beloved Lakers for purely selfish and biased reasons i must admit lol Its obvious the FO wants to win now, which is fine by me but i really doubt it will happen overnight. We need to build a foundation first, and last night was a nice start. We got 2 young players, one that should help right away and another that might have some potential in an area that we sorely need it. All in all the FO did a pretty good job and i feel like this is a begining. An observation not aimed at anyone in particular, funny that when the FO do something positive the kudos go to Mitch but when things go wrong is Jimbo’s fault lol, well thats why we are fans lol. Feel good about the team, cant wait for the free agency period begins and see what shape this team will take,it will be an interesting summer because we all know the Lakers ain’t done dealing and wheeling…

  40. I think with the Knicks trading TC for Calderon and Phil wanting guys to fit his system, Pau will be headed to Knicks in FA.

  41. About Lowry and Irving, i think Irving ain’t going nowhere at this moment because the Cavs have to give that Irving/Wiggins tandem a shot to see if it works and knowing the Cavs sorry history there is a posibility it wont work because, well, they are the Cavs and thats what they do lol( sound logic right there).I hope the Cavs stay true to form on this.Lowry is a posibility but i would not like to overpay for him and eat a sizable portion of the cap. I guess we find out soon enough.

  42. Knicks have no cap space u less carmelo leaves and even then might not have that much considering amare makes 20, andrea makes 15, calderon makes 8, and smith males like 7 plus the rest of their guys…only way it happens would be a s@t for carmelo with the lakers

  43. Well, I was assuming Carmelo was gone and Pau gave Phil a “discount”, like maybe the MLE. I remember reading somewhere in the past Pau and Calderon wanting to play together…

  44. @ MannyP .”… Kyle Lowrie and Kyrie Irving. I would put either of these guys as our “plan a” above getting Melo on this team as I do not think Melo is the answer for anything that ails us.”

    ————————————

    Yes, I’d much rather see K. Irving join the team than ‘Melo. He is a much better fit for the demographic of what (I hope) the FO is trying to achieve. Doubt the Cavs let him go, however, unless they are determined to stay bottom feeders. Hmmm, on the other hand ….

  45. Aaron, you seem to have sources or good insight as to what’s going on in the basketball world. now that melo/bron with lakers has been openly discussed by the media – is it “jinxed” as you said in an earlier post? we all know that laker deals usually get reported after it’s a done deal – not before. even mitch stating that they are willing to go all out for them, but only so much they can do.

  46. @Gene whoaa!! Slow down cowboy!!! lol, i think 18-8 it’s a bit too much to expect from Randle right now, that would be great but we need to temper our expectations on the kid a bit, he will contribute right away but i dont expect those numbers. If he pull those kind of numbers up 10-8 looks more possible as of right now but i hope your right.

  47. The Grizz just gave Z-Bo a 2 year 20 million extension, i think thats the kind of deal the Lakers should offer Pau if they really wants to stay in the team if he wants more he can walk then. I doubt he would get much mire than that elsewhere, the way i see it him and Kobe can retire togheter and free up 34 million in cap space when they go.

  48. I just love this site, it is the NBA information portal to the world.

  49. NCAA 2P%

    Zach Randolph .590 (one and done)
    Kevin Love .611 (one and done)
    Elton Brand .592 (freshman) .620 (sophomore)
    David Lee .584 (four year career–high .648, low .532)
    Julius Randle .517

    Randle took 18 3s, and hit 3 of them.

    Noah Vonleh hit .530 on his 2s and was 16/33–49%–on 3s.

    So as I see it, the issue for Randle is whether he is going to be able to finish in the paint in the pros, along with whether he can develop an outside game.

  50. I should clarify: I view the Melo discussion as a decision between retaining Pau or going after Melo. Of course, if Pau walks then the Melo equation changes in my mind – but only if its at the right price.

  51. From what has been reported Carmelo doesn’t even have the Lakers on his itinerary. He seems to be looking at Chicago, Houston, and Miami.

  52. I’m going to be a bit harsher than you guys. Gasol should not be resigned unless he signs 8 million or less. I think the Lakers should move on and get younger. Getting younger means no guys over 30, even if that player holds sentimental value.

  53. It seems Pat Riley is wasting no time.

  54. Anonymous,
    Yes the LBJ/Melo to lakers is now being discussed a year after I first let the cat out of the bag on this site. The reason I don’t like it being spoken about publicly is the intense hate/jealousy other teams have for the Lakers. Something so big needs everything moving in the right direction to make it happen. We don’t need a pissed off GM doing something that makes it harder for the Lakers to pull this off. Even something like not trading us Michael Carter Williams. LBJ, Melo, and Kobe on the same team means a stretch PF. That’s ether Melo or LBJ depending on how you look at it. This team wouldn’t need Randle. We would need a young guard to play in the back court next to Kobe like a Klay Thompson or Michael Carter Williams as an extra wing defender. If GMs deny LeBron and Melo their ideal team because they won’t trade a player to the Lakers that is enough to make them look in another direction.

    Btw… Another awful decision by Riley. If LBJ leaves its 100 percent on his shoulders. He wasted his only possibly free agent signings on Mike Miller and Shane Battier. That’s the reason LeBron is gonna leave as much as the decline of Wade. He signed two washed up swing men for 60 million dollars. Let’s say he signed young spot up shooters who then Could also play defense… They probably win after ring or two and the supporting cast looks a lot better.

  55. … Whoops. Forgot to finish my though. Wasting the rest of your cap on Lowry is beyond me. An average PG who needs the ball? Maybe they know James is already gone. Because you shouldn’t have a PG in the starting lineup if you have James. He is the PG. You want a long athlete who can shoot and play D. at that spot. Just so obvious.

  56. I dont think Lebron is going to leave Miami for the simple reason that he cares about his brand and his legacy. If he leaves Miami now when things are tough it’s going to make “The Decision” look like a walk in the park. The backlash would be twice as worse with 2 fanbases that would absolutely hate him and he will be seen as a loser and quitter that can’t take the heat (*ajem*no pun intended) for the rest of his life no matter what he does. His brand and legacy will be damaged forever. I have friends that are true Cavs fans and they dont want him back on the team under any circunstances because of the way they feel he humilliated the Cavs on National TV. He ain’t stupid.

  57. @G Gasol, even declining, in an injury riddled season in the wrong system still managed to score 17ppg grab almost 10 rebounds per game and block 1.5 is going to get paid. Players like Gasol dont grow in trees. When Gasol started to get healthy his defense improved a bit, lets not forget the system that was in place treated defense like an afterthought. There is a reason why teams are lining up to try to pry him from us. Now, if he repeated his horrid 2012-2013 season i would be with you on this, but no, he still had a solid season despite everything going on with him and around him. I dont think 20 million for 2 years is a bad contract he would be taking a 50% paycut and in a system more halfcourt oriented i think he should have better numbers on both sides of the floor if he wants more than that he can go to whoever is willing to pay him more than that which is really doubtful at this stage on his career. He still could give us 2 moresolid seasons. The romantic in me would love to see him and Kobe retiring togheter he is a consumate pro and love the Lakers, that might not matter much to some people but it does to me.

  58. Rr
    Sobering shooting % on Randle.
    Just when we were getting warmed up to the idea.
    I’m sure Randle can make a difference here since we have basically nobody on the roster at the moment.
    I still see Jordan Hill as a valuable piece.
    I still see the value of a Pau Gasol on the roster.
    Everyone has discarded the idea of trading our pick for MCW but that could still happen, right?
    I don’t think Lakers are gonna stand pat here.
    Like Mitch said, “this makes six.
    It’s nice to be halfway there.”
    I wonder if Mitch is tired?

  59. Here’s a question.
    Why 3 interviews w Byron?
    Normally a third interview would mean come on down, you’re hired.
    I can almost see why they may want to hold off on the hire depending on who they sign.
    But after deciding to wait, why have Byron in again? Or was the last interview a telephone interview only?
    I’m not even a Byron fan but still it seems odd.

  60. rr,
    Couldn’t agree more. As I’ve already said… If this pick wasn’t for other teams and is for us I’m truly shocked and scared for the future.

  61. Update: Ric Bucher has retracted his reports from Friday afternoon and Thursday evening in regards to Kyle Lowry going to the Heat.

    Here is his statement on Twitter:

    My deepest and sincere apologies. My report on Lowry and a S&T between the Raptors-Heat is wrong. I should’ve known better. I could not be more embarrassed. I can’t explain why someone would go the lengths “my source” did to set me up, but that’s irrelevant. I allowed my zeal to break a story take too much for granted. I’d like to think I’m better than that. Yesterday and today I was not.

    ——

  62. Warren Wee Lim June 27, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Manny, we wait ALL YEAR for that thread to come up … hahaha.

    I would consider the free agency bonanza post to come up soon. It has to deal with signings first but it would need to “open up a bit” with regards to speculatory posts w/ regards to possible moves to be made.

  63. @fern
    The money used to sign Gasol might be better used to sign Lowry, Ariza, Monroe or Stephenson this offseason. Next offseason, if the lakers choose to wait, they can sign love or asik. Dont forget that they still have to sign their own free agents like nick young. If you can tell me a way to sign those free agents and sign Gasol for 20 million for 2 years, I’m all ears (eyes).

  64. Rr, those shooting numbers are construed. I watched every UK game last year and Randle was triple teamed ROUTINELY and still managed to finish at a great rate. I can find the stat but his true shooting percentage around the rim is something like 64% if I’m not mistaken. He also did this against terribly sagging zone defenses designed to take him away. And as for 3 point shooting, I mentioned this in another post but literally those 18 shots were either last resort beat the shot clock heaves or broken plays where he had to shoot. Calipari does not like his bigs to shoot outside shots.

  65. If the Lakers can’t get Lebron this summer, they should not sign anyone else to more than this year. Wait for next year. They should have $35M in cap space, almost enough to sign 2-3 all star caliber players. Try to sign either Aldredge or Love if either are available, or possibly both, and maybe even Paker or Rondo. Even if that’s not enough to make the Lakers a contender, this group should be good enough to draw in Durant in 2016 when Kobe’s contract comes off the books. We keep talking about Kobe retiring after two years, but if he’s still capable of playing after 2 years, he may, and for less. So it’s possible that we could sign 2-3 players next, year, get Durant in 2016, AND have Kobe finish out his career with 2-3 more rings.

  66. To win with the current salary cap structure of the NBA, teams have to get value out of their contracts. This is how I define value:
    1) Any superstar like Lebron, even if he gets a max contract, is far more valuable than another player who gets a max contract. Even Carmelo, is worth FAR more than a max contract. If you can get these players at a discount, as Lebron, Wade and Bosh did when they signed together, or Duncan, Parker, Ginobili, that’s even better.
    2) Players on rookie contracts. For example, Harden when he was with OKC.
    3) Veterans who are past their primes, but want to join a team to win a ring. Ray Allen.
    4) Players who will give a hometown discount or out of loyalty to a team. Jordan Farmar.
    5) Low salary players who have very specific roles, a defensive specialist signed on to guard against a specific opponent the team often encounters, such as a shooter off the bench to stretch the floor for other players, a veteran who is a team leader meaning part coach, part player. These players who can make 3+3=9. Not only additive, but multiplicative. Derek Fisher with Lakers and OKC.

    To win championships with the current salary cap structure, if you end up overpaying for second tier talent like Josh Smith and Carlos Boozer, you’re going to end up like Atlanta or Chicago. That’s why I’m strongly against signing guys like Gortat or Lowery. These player are the absolute worst deals. The way the salary structure is in the NBA, it’s like being able to buy either a Ferrari or Lexus for $100,000. Sure, everyone wants the Ferrari for $100,000, when the true value is $200,000. But if you don’t get one of these $100,000 Ferrari, It doesn’t mean you should buy a Lexus for $100,000. Just wait until another Ferrari is available.

  67. Eric,

    Your position on Randle is very clear, but the numbers are what they are. All stats have noise in them, but the fact is that several good and elite NBA 4s in recent years have had far better shooting percentages at the college level than Randle did, and, additionally, Noah Vonleh beat him in that stat, while also showing 3-point range in a limited sample. Time will tell to what extent you have insight into Randle that many analysts and scouts missed, and to what extent you are overrating him. All of us here are hoping that your opinion is accurate.

  68. JC,

    You ask a fair question. Why have they interviewed Byron Scott 3 times without (apparently) letting him know whether he has the job or not?

    I hate to date myself, but I’ve been in management in IT consulting firms for 16 years and I’ve never conducted an interviewing process in this manner (and I’ve hired literally hundreds). Now I understand that the Lakers are a family-run business rather than a corporation in the classic sense. But professional basketball is big business. And there are certain rules of professional courtesy that should be adhered to in all interviewing processes.

    When you interview someone 3 times or more (and that does happen), first of all you must be serious about that person’s candidacy. Otherwise, you’re wasting everyone’s time.

    Secondly, you should be decisive by the end of the 3rd interview — one way or the other. Either you want that person or you don’t.

    Thirdly, you should let the candidate know within three business days whether he (or she) was chosen for the job or not. Why? Because the candidate has a right to know. This isn’t a master-slave relationship. The candidate has as many rights as the prospective employer does. Furthermore, the candidate can always become disillusioned and withdraw. I’ve seen that happen…more than once.

    If the candidate does not hear back from the interviewer in a reasonable amount of time, that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement, is it? So…I like what Mitch Kupchak has done in the draft. But I do NOT like the way that he’s conducted, and protracted, the interviewing process. If he wants Scott, he should say so. If not, he should move on and make a firm (but not rash) decision.

    There’s nothing to be gained by delaying. And Byron must be wondering whether they really want him or not. I can tell you one thing for sure. If I were Byron Scott, this wouldn’t settle well with me.

  69. Eric: Good post. Statistics can be misleading absent of context. Your comments about double/triple teams on Randle jibe with the film I’ve seen of him. He’s going to thrive in the NBA as a scorer because of his explosiveness and the space he will see. With his handle, I almost think he could play some three if he could develop some distance shooting. What do you think?

  70. Mid,

    Here is Kupchak on the coaching search:

    ____

    Kupchak also updated the Lakers’ coaching search, saying he had put it on hold while the Lakers prepared for the draft the past several weeks. He does not anticipate hiring anyone between now and when free agency begins.

    “We may continue to interview, but we have a pretty good feel of what’s available and we’re comfortable that we can get a good coach, probably in the beginning of July,” Kupchak said.

    Former Lakers great Byron Scott is considered the leading candidate for the position, having interviewed with the team multiple times in meetings Kupchak said went well.

    Contrary to reports, Kupchak said the Lakers will not let prospective free agents influence the hiring process.

    “Not really,” Kupchak said. “I think more importantly would be the draft, who we got in the draft, two players and, I guess to some degree, how we fare in free agency. The style of player that we procure, whether we bring back players from our team last year. And we’ll look for a coach that can coach the players that we have.”

    I agree with a lot of your points, but the thing is…I don’t think anybody else wants to hire Byron Scott, even as an assistant, and every other team in the NBA has a coach now. So, my guess is that the Lakers are going to talk to James and Anthony and if it looks like they might actually come here, and the coaching choice might have an effect on that, then other names will be in play (and of course the Lakers job would look a lot different if James and Anthony were seriously thinking of coming here). If James and Anthony just give the Lakers courtesy meetings and then quickly rule them out, which is what I think will happen, then Scott will get hired.

    I would guess that you are right, and Scott is not happy about it. But I doubt that will stop him from taking the job if they offer it.

  71. JC,

    That stat is certainly not a death knell for Randle, but I think it is an indicator that he is more likely to be a serviceable starter than an impact player. Calipari’s other recent highly-drafted bigs, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, had 2p% marks of .565 and .653, respectively. Davis, of course, is one of the best players in the game already and may end up in Duncan/Garnett territory when his career is over, so that is not really a fair comp, and Cousins is bigger than Randle.

    But still, for me, I would say that Randle needs to prove that he can finish and/or that he has an all-around floor game–I don’t think we can just assume that he is going to be good. I am more in the hoping stage right now. I liked him OK when I saw him (three times), but he didn’t blow me away. His assist/turnover ratio was not anything great, either. The best metric for him is his rebounding numbers.

  72. @mid-wilshire
    You make a excellent point. I too am wondering what is going on with the coaching hires. Supposedly Mitch is going to make a decision soon. I’m just curious as to what is going on in Mitch’s head when hes making this decision. Why wait so long? Why interview Scott 3 times if you are not going to hire him right after the interviews? Its a little confusing.

  73. @G for me is simple, because Pau even at 34 is a better player than any of those guys, lowry is avg, Ariza stepped up on his contract year, Stephenson is a skilled idiot which i like btw, and the only person i could compare to Pau is Greg Monroe who i like but Monroe would want a bigger salary like max salary that he dont deserve and he is a really horrid defender and dont even come close to Pau’s skills.

  74. Mid
    You make my point exactly, but you do it far more articulately. Checkers and chess analogies come to mind.
    It is a bit sad to see the team drag Byron through this regardless of whether they can “get away with it.”
    I don’t recall Dr. Buss treating any potential hire this way. Even Phil was advised immediately of their decision.

    Rr
    I confess I rarely watch college hoops.
    Randle’s stock started high and dropped this year.
    Clearly overall shooting percentages are fair comparisons but coaching plays a part as does the makeup of the team around the player. The trend of “one and done” college careers adds to the guesswork.

    Our roster is so depleted right now we’re operating in the dark with a blank canvass.
    Fingers crossed.

  75. To understand what’s going on in Kupchak’s or Scott’s head, for starters you should have some experience as an NBA GM or coach, and then you should be in on the interviews to hear what’s being discussed. That doesn’t describe me, so I’ll just wait to see what happens. They either make a good choice or not, and I won’t care how long it took them to do it.

  76. Renato Afonso June 28, 2014 at 2:06 am

    I agree with Fern. The main problem surrounding Pau is that he is the best FA big out there and our only big is Sacre, for the moment. Obviously, there are limits to what you can pay Pau, but if he takes a discount, 10M are better spent on him than on Ariza or Lowry, in my opinion.

    Let’s see what the plan is. I know nothing of what they’re trying to do and I can see anything happening right now…

  77. I think riley is really scared of losing lebron and tried to play bucher into making it look like lowry was headed there … if people think randle is great then if lebron and melo come here with kobe that already makes a big 4 with randle plus … gulp, ray allen? If he chases lebron + farmar , maybe one of kane and clarkson, sacre (haslemish) , xavier probably resigns on the cheap since he had knee surgury, a s@t for pau with the knicks for melo keeps open the possibility of resiging hill, meeks, kelley since lakers wouldnt need to renounce their cap holds…. dont know if there would be a way to keep pau and still get lebron and melo

    If we signed pau to a 10 mil deal and signed lebron at 15-20 …. are we allowed to do a s@t for melo that pushes us over the cap? Give the knicks hill+we sign who they want as an fa and include them in the trade?

  78. Rr, I understand your skepticism and caution but I guess my biggest point about Randle is that in the NBA the spacing will allow him more room to operate. All these guys comparing him to ZBo haven’t seen him play. Randle would rather take you off the dribble than post you up but in college he couldn’t do that because of how defenses guarded him (which they can’t do in the NBA). Randle ran a 4.5 40 yard dash the guy is an insane athlete, none of the PFs you mentioned have the capability to stay in front of him. Later in his career he won’t be able to rely on his athleticism as all pros realize but right now he’s an elite athlete. I Reread the article and Randle shot 70% around the rim, a very respectable number and his true shooting percentage was 54%. While lower than the numbers you threw out for other guys, David Lee and Love were never guarded like Randle was in college (ZBo I never saw in college) and even Anthony Davis had better floor spacers at Kentucky. UK had one shooter in James Young and because of that it created terrible spacing issues, teams could easily deny Randle the ball and there are games he only got 8 shots. However in his best games (against teams like Michigan State and Louisville) they would triple team him with NBA level talent and he would still finish over them. Cousins had Wall, Bledsoe and Patrick Patterson to alleviate the defensive stress he was under, not to mention he’s lazy and a head case. Randle will outwork most of the guys in this league and I guarantee veterans will hate how hard he works and how much he competes in the same way veterans did when Blake first came into the league.

    Bryan S, Randle right now is absolutely athletic enough to play the 3. I compared him to a less skilled Lamar, but Lamar was never as good attacking off the bounce as Randle is and he’s not afraid of contact. Randle has a better handle than people think and will take many boards coast to coast for dunks. His outside shot will be inconsistent at first but he has the potential. I’m truth he’s a true stretch 4 right now because of how elite his first step is, not even Wiggins could stop that when they played. He’s also a better athlete than Jabari Parker. If you put Randle on Jabari he would shut him down easily. Defensively he needs to apply himself but the tools are there, he was just worried more about offense in college as most young athletes are.

  79. Warren Wee Lim June 28, 2014 at 6:40 am

    Its hard to speculate and assume of how incompetent our Front Office is when you don’t know the plan. You preach of a certain process of hiring for what, a company you work for… but this isn’t really just a simple hire now is it? The Lakers have missed on 2 coaches now, and we want to be deliberate and careful.

    Things you see in media does not reflect everything there is. Kupchak is not going to give you his plans just so you would know, that 29 other teams would know too. Moreover, his statements to media all have to be politically correct and proper. We can’t even mention we’re interested at Lebron James because thats tampering.

  80. Can Randle average 16 pts & 8 rebounds per game for the Lakers? If he can he’ll join the short list of only ten forwards to do it in a Laker uniform. If he can average that for more than one season the list becomes shorter, only been accomplished by five forwards in Laker history.

    http://bkref.com/tiny/aWFId

    Sure one huge reason is because of the Lakers list of HOF centers (Mikan, Chamberlain, Jabbar, & Shaq). That said, Randle has an opportunity to be one of the more productive fours to wear a Laker uniform.

  81. Kupchak: “And we’ll look for a coach that can coach the players that we have.”

    ———————————————————————-

    Probably a good idea to try that for a change.

  82. I do not see Lebron leaving Miami. I’m sure he’s concerned about Wade but I think he’ll give it one more try there.

    I am not a big Melo fan. So unless his contract is timed to end with Kobe’s I think we should pass. Trust me, Laker fans do not want Melo to be the long term core of the team.

    I think a sound Plan B is pursuing Stephenson (let Kobe guide him) and Monroe. I think this is doable and although each player is not perfect they are each established stars at 23. Resign Pau to a two year deal and fill in with those that impressed from last year.

  83. Eric: Another solid and very encouraging post from someone who clearly has watched a lot of Kentucky (and Randle). Like it man!

  84. Watching the videos I view Clarkson more as a SG who can perform some ball handleing duties. As a mid 2nd round pick this doesn’t look too bad. Needs to work on his catch and shoot more.

  85. Lakers17, that was an excellent post.

  86. Rr, here are the highlights of Julius against Payne of Michigan State (another lottery pick) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdsY62qaCoA

    Here are the highlights against Florida (team with plenty of length) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW7qvRzcxI4

    Here against Louisville and 2015 top 10 pick Montrezl Harrell who couldn’t stay on the floor against Randle (also Harrell is already a year older than Randle) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DATjUfdmHvI

    And finally highlights against Wiggins in high school (whom everyone says is one of the best defenders in the draft) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYpwWYw7lvc

    My point being if you watch Randle he has incredible touch around the rim and has no problem finishing with ridiculous shots over taller defenders. You can also see at times even 4 players sag down on him and he still fights to score.

    I went back over box scores from last year and 3/4 of UK games Randle didn’t even get double digit shot attempts (which was due to terrible guard play and poor coaching as the main reasons).

    I also watched Draft Express’ video break down of Julius against NBA length. http://www.draftexpress.com/article/Julius-Randle-vs-NBA-Length-Video-Analysis-4567/
    The things they are criticizing him over are hilarious. The criticize him for not having a lane to drive so he is forced to pass??? Well if Cal tells him not to shoot outside and he does as he is told then how is that a negative quality for Julius that he passes? The also criticize him saying he was unable to get the ball at times on the post? Well if your guards are awful at post entry passes how is that his fault? Defensively the clips they criticize him for have some valid concerns but more than anything I think it deals with effort. He was expending so much energy on offense going against multiple people that he slacked off on D (just as Kobe used to). He will be able to use more energy on that in the NBA since he won’t be the focal point of the offense. Another play he fails to get back on a fast break runout which once against deals with effort which is easy to correct. Reaching on defense is a sign of fatigue, not being a bad defender. Plus we all know individual defense is overrated in the NBA, team defense is much more important. How do you knock Randle for another guy having better position than him on a free throw? If you watch those clips everything they critique him over is correctable, and having NBA trainers work with him to improve his chiseled physique even more only makes him scarier. I know people respect Draft Express but sometimes I wonder if they really watch all of the games or just take a few possessions from certain games and use them as proof of their opinions. Jonathan Givony even said James Young would fall in the draft because of off the court issues, and he didn’t fall because he had no idea what he was talking about, not once all season did he have any issues. Cal doesn’t recruit poor character players (with the exception of Cousins).

    One thing people don’t talk about is how often Julius got to the free throw line last year and how great of a free throw shooter he is. Cal often put the ball in his hands with the game on the line to hit free throws.

  87. Eric,

    You may be right, since you watched the guy. Randle may be an unusual player with a potent combination of skills. But it is also simple enough to profile Randle as:

    >Not being big enough/long enough to be a traditional 4
    >Not being fluid enough/mobile enough to be a traditional 3
    >Not having the shooting range to be a stretch 4

    You have mentioned Odom a couple of times, but Odom was

    a) A very unusual player
    b) Taller and longer than Randle

    Also, Odom flashed some of these skills in his year in college: He had 122 assists; Randle had 57, and they had the same number of TOs. Odom hit 33/100 3s in college. And, Odom had a higher 2p% than Randle did (.530 to .517).

    So, you are essentially claiming that Randle can really do a lot of stuff that he didn’t actually do at Kentucky, and the only reason for that was the situation that he was in at Kentucky. You may be right; that happens sometimes in going from college to the NBA. But what also happens sometimes is that guys’ games don’t translate well to the NBA. Randle was good at getting to the line and getting rebounds, I am sure he has a great motor/attitude and he is only 19. So we will see.

  88. JC,

    Projections are an art as much as a science, probably. Kevin Pelton has said that his numbers should be used in conjunction with other information. I have a long response to Eric in mod, but he may be right about Randle.

  89. Reports are that Phil is planning to go hard after Pau, although the Knicks can only offer a bit less than 4M. One thing to remember about that: Pau has been friends with Jose Calderon for many years, has played with him for Team Spain many times, and supposedly has always wanted to play with him in the NBA.

    Any team with Pau, Calderon and Anthony would do some good stuff on O in the Triangle, but would have a lot of trouble on D.

  90. I was thinking about the head coaching situation and I indulged myself a bit.
    Falling under the “what if” universe…just for a bit of fun!
    (is that allowed?)

    What if Kobe had ACTUALLY BEFRIENDED Dwight?
    I mean if they had been actual friends?
    (Like if Kobe really wanted to teach Dwight what he knew– like real teachers do?)

    I know FO doesn’t want players to dictate the coaches, but what if KOBE AND DWIGHT
    had gone into Mitch’s office last year, or whenever it was, and said, ‘we want Phil’?
    We know how that went when Dwight asked. Mitch bristled. Jim Buss bristled.

    But had Kobe and Dwight been smiling and laughing TOGETHER -
    If i’m Mitch/Jim and I see two of the top ten players in the league saying,
    “Come on, Mitch. Dantoni’s nice, but we want Phil. Seriously.”
    Mitch probably sees TWO hall-of-famers on the same page, and says
    ‘ok, what the heck–hello, Phil, sorry – come on back?’

    In this alternate universe, Pau is properly used by Phil, Phil properly motivates the group,
    and other FAs are DYING to come here. I smell championshipS, plural.
    And Phil isn’t in NY now, Derek retires and becomes an assistant coach here…

    It’s like back to the Future 2, where the alternate universe is corrupt, ugly and decaying.
    Except that’s the one we’re living now, haha.

  91. So the Lakeres let Bazemore go, obviously triying to create the max cap space posible, it makes sense but still stings, really liked him. :(

  92. i reeeally doubt that Pau will go to play with the Knicks for the MLE when he can earn at the very leasttwice as much in a number of other teams.

  93. Veteran power forward Udonis Haslem has opted out of his deal with the Miami Heat and will become an unrestricted free agent, according to a report.
    Udonis Haslem has averaged 8.6 points and 7.5 rebounds over 11 seasons with the Miami Heat.
    Bleacher Report reported Saturday that Haslem did not exercise his $4.62 million player option and now is free to sign with any team — including re-signing a team-friendly deal with the Heat to create extra space under the salary cap — starting Tuesday

    _

    Riles and Arison must have made him some nice promises.

  94. If, as Eric said, that Randle can play the 3 then he will be an absolute star. I’m a little concerned with him at the four due to his height and reach.

    Anonymous, above, proposed a starting five of:
    1. Stephenson
    2. Kobe
    3. Randle
    4. Monroe
    5. Pau

    That’s pretty competitive in my mind.

  95. i reeeally doubt that Pau will go to play with the Knicks for the MLE when he can earn at the very leasttwice as much in a number of other teams.

    We’ll see. But like I said a few months ago, there are reasons to think Pau may make this decision based in large part on non-monetary considerations.

  96. I like Terri’s lineup.

    If Pau doesn;t look for money, he’s gonna look for wins.
    Is NY gonna compete?
    Pau may go to NY – if Lebron and Melo are there.
    Otherwise, I think Phil may be disappointed.
    Again.

  97. Pau is a good guy, a sensitive guy. After how Lakers treated him, and how he struggled with MDA, I would not be suprised he will join Fish and Phil in Knicks for a discount. In fact, from a non-fandom perspective, I am glad for him. I know loyalty doesn’t count much these days, so Pau should just go where he feels his skils can be better utilized and appreciated.

  98. Wade has opted out. Lebron is staying in Miami

  99. Surely Wade won’t actually sacrifice dollars – more likely, just spread his $ out over a longer period.
    If he takes 4 years at 10 per year, is he required to play all four years to get paid?
    Or is ownership allowed to let a player retire and still pay them?

    Miami and San Antonio’s approach to salaries makes the Kobe contract look all the more like an albatross.

  100. Bosh too, of course.

  101. I have seen numbers floated around regarding available cap space, so just for everyone’s information, here is the max space the Lakers have at the moment (if they renounce all FA cap holds and exceptions):

    Kobe 23,500,000
    Sacre 915,243
    Randle 2,497,800
    Nash 9,701,000
    Cap holds 4,058,688
    total 40,672,731
    cap room 22,527,269

    Enough to give Melo the max and that is about it. That number gets reduced if Kelly and Baze are extended a qualifying offer by Monday by about 1M total (about 500K each).

  102. The heat will go after either
    - pau at 7-10 million
    - meeks and hill at 5 million each

    Pau gives them a big 4 if wade, lebron, wafe all sogn at 15 mill a year or the small possibility of melo joining them if they all accept 10-13 mill each

    I hate miami and really hope this blows up in their face with an Injury

  103. We totally need to stretch nash to gain the extra 6-8 million

  104. Looks like LBJ might be staying in Miami eh? So, the question becomes-> is ‘Melo going to join them? If not, then Lebron is wasting the next couple of years because he can’t do it alone and D-Wade looks done. If I’m the Lakers and I don’t think that I can conceivable get Lebron/Melo, then I make a play for Parsons and try to trade Nash for anything more than a couple of tacos. :/

  105. Terri, he should not play at the 3 full time, it is more of a slide over on an as needed basis. Sort of how Metta would slide over and play the 4 spot. PF will be his spot his entire career but at his peak athleticism he can definitely guard several 3s. You should definitely be excited over his versatility though, few PFs will be able to stay in front of him and all he needs to do is make them pay on a consistent basis with a midrange/outside shot.

  106. Clearly Wade and Bosh are opting out so all 3 can make room for FA.

    Better chance of me shooting 18 at golf like the Korean Emperor them LJ coming here to play with Kobe making way more and paying state tax.

    Wake up guys and put the crazy cool-aid down some here are posting.

  107. Okay… Now we need to hope the only reason Wade opted out was so people didn’t blame him when LeBron leaves.

  108. alright guys grab your 3d glasses I’m about to make a comment about kobe taking a pay cut. I think Kobe should be watching how the heat stars are opting out and follow suit and hear me out on this. He should wait to see what Lebron or the best player is going to make looks like chris bosh wants something around 5 years 18 million. If Kobe did a 3 year 19 millon or whatever is still highest paid in the league, with that 3rd year of guaranteed 10 million with the 4.5 acting as part of his original contract plus 19 he will get. If the Lakers did this, as it looks, LeBron and Miami are re tooling….so I guess my question to the forum and darius is this: Kobe can still be the highest paid player in the league like he wants and take a pay cut but add years to his contract. Do you see him doing this or the front office trying to restricting his deal maybe even next year? If that happens do you see the Lakers able to get a quality combo guard in lance Stephenson, and then a big name like Melo?

    Miami’s big 3 opting out changes everything, clearly players don’t look at their salaries as their only form of income anymore, but this allows them to compete instantly once again and even if I believe the cap is atrocious and should be thrown out, I have to say it puts a lot of pressure on kobe and the end of his career. It’s sort of like he has to bite the bullet vs the owners and his own worth and do it to give himself an opportunity to win again and the front office doing things as slow as possible doesn’t make him look good as Miami’s big three opts out.

  109. I still think Kobe should be highest paid but opting out and getting a longer deal under 20 million could help a lot. Still don’t mind if Kobe is option 1, but if the heat stars opting out means they are taking paycuts to really shore up the roster, then it’s getting a little ridiculous, aside from the owners being ecstatic that the players are all taking pay cuts to team up all of a sudden ( I mean as a side note, so what Lebron you couldn’t win with two other all stars?….so take less to get another one? doesn’t that sort of diminish the legacy a taddddd….losing record in the finals?) anyway, kobe also only ever played with 1 all star, but whatever. If Kobe takes a slight pay cut, we can lure someone like Stephenson, then get Melo, I think that team can make the wcf.

  110. Aaron I’m sorry you are dreaming if you think that’s the reason Wade did that, the big 3 all agreed on that to improve the team. It blows my mind that people think Miami wouldn’t be back in the Finals next season with the same group. Who will be them in the east? Indiana? Washington? I truly believe had anyone but San Antonio been in the Finals Miami would have won, basketball is all about matchups and the Spurs were the worst possible one for them. The Heat barely winning last year thanks to Jesus Shuttlesworth saving them hid some real glaring weaknesses. Instead of shoring up things they let big contributors go and tried to save money. All the Heat need to do is retool a few peripheral players like the 2008 Lakers did and they will be champions again. The NBA is down and there are few teams that can beat them in a seven games series.

  111. Aaron : Straws have never kept anyone afloat.

  112. the real news is that Riley somehow convinced Haslem to opt out. how in the world is he making up that 4.7M?

  113. @chris y

    Dude. How can you not know that Kobe can’t opt out and take less money!? The reason that LBJ/Bosh/Wade can opt out is that there was a player option in their contracts that allowed them to do so. Neither Kobe or anyone else under contract can simply renegotiate whenever they choose. When the FO offered Kobe the contract that they did, it was with full intentions of paying the whole thing. There is no opt out clause for Kobe.

  114. “Randle took 18 3s, and hit 3 of them.

    Noah Vonleh hit .530 on his 2s and was 16/33–49%–on 3s.

    So as I see it, the issue for Randle is whether he is going to be able to finish in the paint in the pros, along with whether he can develop an outside game.”

    Vonleh is a dullard with zero post game. There was no choice between him and Randle. They aren’t even close. And for all of your use of metrics, you missed the obvious one:

    FT% = 70.6

    Dullard Vonleh = 71.6. So they can both shoot decent enough. The worst pick of the draft was Aaron Gordon. He simply can’t shoot. FT% = 42.2. He won’t even have to be guarded. At least not outside the paint. So his defense better well be spectacular.

    And, yes, they’d be insane to draft a PF based on his purported 3PT%. I mean, not many are crying over 12.5%, 17.5% and 27.9%. That would be Blake Griffin. Or we could take 17.4%, 18.2%, 14.3% and 20.0%. That would be LaMarcus Aldridge. I’d be happy if Randle was 2.0 of either of them.

    Randle needs to sharpen his post game, work some more on the 15 FT shot (Mitch’s “repetition”), and simply learn team defense, which goes a long way in covering the individual deficiency (at least if you can play some defense). In contrast, Dullard Vonleh needs rather more work than that.

    For a bonus freebie, Aaron, forget the mad, insane LeBron thing. They all opted out to opt back in with more CAP space to sign some others. Remember, they wined and dined and chatted at some posh hotel, emphasis on posh, as if we would think that it was at the Motel 6, and I rather doubt that Wade opts out if the plan isn’t for them all to come back (since with his knees, I ain’t giving him the same money that he stood to earn by sticking with it, as it were).

  115. are you sure KenOak can you please reference where that is noted as fact so I can check it.

  116. Chris Y – I can’t offer you a direct link, but I’d guess Larry Coon’s CBA page has what you require.

    The fact is, NBA players cannot restructure their contracts once signed. It’s not the NFL.

  117. Vonleh is a dullard with zero post game. There was no choice between him and Randle. They aren’t even close. And for all of your use of metrics, you missed the obvious one:

    FT% = 70.6

    Didn’t miss it, but a guy shooting 70% from the line does not guarantee that he will be able to finish inside or hit NBA 3s. As to the rest, Vonleh is 18; Randle is 19. We won’t know whether the Lakers did the right thing here for 2-3 years.

  118. Broussard on Twitter: “Henry Thomas, agent 4 @chrisbosh, denies that Bosh has made decision to opt out of contract. Bosh has not informed Heat of any decision.

    Broussard is wrong a lot, though.

  119. That would be Blake Griffin. Or we could take 17.4%, 18.2%, 14.3% and 20.0%. That would be LaMarcus Aldridge. I’d be happy if Randle was 2.0 of either of them.

    College 2P%
    Griffin .622 (two years–.659 his second year)
    Aldridge .586 (two years–.663 in a small sample, .569 the year he came out)

  120. chrisy>are you sure KenOak can you please reference where that is noted as fact so I can check it.

    http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm#Q60

    “Contracts for fewer than four seasons cannot be renegotiated.”

    “A renegotiation can only be used to provide a salary increase — players can’t take a “pay cut” in order to create more cap room for the team.”

  121. Can we stop the Lebron nonsense?It looks like it’s a strategy to improve the Heat like i said. Their big 3 is going to stay put. They are going for the SA template, even i figured it out since LJ opted out. I dont want him on the team anyways.

  122. Chris y
    To clarify
    Reason Heat stars have opt outs this year is that’s the way the contracts were written.
    4- or 5-year deals with player options after the 3rd year.
    Even if Lebron or Wade wanted to opt out last summer they couldn’t have.
    At least Riley planned well.

    I do think Lakers can get Bledsoe or Stephenson and get a crew together to compete.
    Let’s see what we’re made of.

  123. there’s a video of randle doing some perimeter shooting for the lakers in a pre-draft workout. he hits a good percentage of his 3s and a decent number of mid-range jumpers. nice arc and stroke.

  124. JC,

    I think Stephenson is the guy among those most likely to end up here. Obvious point first: he is the one who is an UFA. Added to that, between his behavioral stuff and how badly the ECF ended for Indiana, I think Bird will let him leave if the Lakers overpay enough, and given how badly the Lakers need players, they will have incentive to do just that.

    It is hard for me to picture the Phoenix and Utah FOs allowing popular young guys like Bledsoe and Hayward walk to the Lakers, and I think SVG will find a way to get rid of Josh Smith and keep Monroe.

  125. “My decision will be based purely on sporting considerations,” Gasol wrote on his personal website in February. “It couldn’t be any other way. I want to be in a team with a real chance of winning a ring and where I can help to compete for it. I would like to win another championship. The financial side comes second at this stage of my career.”

  126. Number of days Wade needed to ‘decide’ to opt out = number of days his agent needed to negotiate the contract he will be getting from the Heat. As this will be Wade’s last big contract, I doubt he would sign for less than $40M. Team probably agreed to something like 4 years $58M. I’m sure Bosh is working out something like this as well.

  127. Jerry Buss = Don Corleone
    Jerry West = Tom Hagen
    Pat Riley = Michael Corleone
    Jim Buss = Fredo Corleone
    Miami Heat = Tattaglia Family

    The Lakers now. This is what happens when you let your consigliere and your smart son go and leave Fredo in charge.

  128. Phil Jackson=Carlo Rizzi
    Mitch Kupchak=Peter Clemenza

  129. Two of my favorite movies

    J C: Yes we got stuck in the wrong time for sure. Biff is running the Lakers.

    Lakers 17: To continue : )

    Jeanie Buss = Constanzia Corleone
    Phil Jackson = Carlo Rizzi
    Jack Nicholson = Johnny Fontaine
    Metta World Peace = Lucca Brasi
    Chaz = Moe Green

  130. rr, here’s Randle’s competition:

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/statistics/_/position/pf

    He has more speed than most of the souls on that list.

    And the other fellow isn’t lying:

    With the Wildcats having no semblance of outside shooting, teams were free to double and at times triple-team Randle underneath

    Not only no outside shooting, but if you watch their games, the reason why he ended taking more shots out of isolation than in the post is owing to the fact that he’d often have to come up and/or out to receive the ball. Try this as well:

    http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/24419126/how-kentuckys-julius-randle-battles-through

  131. Wow this Jason Kidd stuff is crazy, AND some fan broke the story on Thursday on a realGM nets forum. Long live Carl2680. People are ripping Marc Stein and Woj for not giving him props for breaking the story.

  132. aaron, thanks for the reply. i really didn’t like lbj after his decision but who doesn’t want a winner on the team? if he carried the cavs that far, he can surely drag this laker team far in the playoffs.

    sorry but basketball is kind of boring with the lakers and celtics sucking so badly. who really wants to watch sas and miami. ugh.

    watching the kings win the scf was the best thing this year!!!

    i hope the lakers can snag lbj – and i hope that pj and fish do well in ny. if the lakers stink again this year, i would at least like to pray/watch/root for the knicks to knock out miami in the east.

  133. melcountscounts June 28, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    OMG, please, no Lance Stephenson. I don’t care how talented he is, we don’t need more crazy..

  134. Stephenson is a cancer. I really hope the Lakers don’t consider him because he’s very likely to create serious chemistry issues. Having to root for this guy would be a nightmare scenario. Hopefully the Lakers have more sense than that.

  135. My heart tells me to go snatch Kyle Lowry and make a run at it this year. My head keeps repeating: Look at the Spurs, learn from the Spurs. Find a couch for the next 10 years, build on character and continuity. I must say the basketball they played this year is some of the most beautiful I have seen in a long long time.

    They have a shooting coach who fixed Kawhi Leonard’s shot, they have an amazing scouting network etc. And it is all those small parts that make them the most consistent club in basketball.

  136. Find a couch for the next 10 years

    We all do need a place to relax.

  137. Just watched the video that Darius linked on twitter and I have to say that Randle looks pretty good to me. He’s lightning quick for a guy his size and his body type should make him a good rebounder in the pros. His first step reminds me of James Worthy. No one could keep up with it and if he plays the PF, then you’re going to see him be a matchup nightmare for a lot of teams.

    *edit

    I also loved his post workout interview that he did. He seems like a very mature 19 year old kid. Kobe should warm right up to him and take him under his wing. There’s a helluva lot that JR can learn from Kobe and the best part is that he truly seems like he wants to be mentored. Good things are on the horizon folks!

  138. @ rr and Robert
    Mitch Kupchak=Peter Clemenza
    Chaz = Moe Green

    Nice!

  139. If lbj & Melo dont come, I would go after Lowry & parsons, give them each 4 yrs, $40m. Then try to dump Nash’s expiring for a center with defensive skills who’s fallen out of favor with his team. I can only think of one. Resign Jordan hill and have him and Randle share duties at pf. Bring back swaggy as your 6th man, resign farmar, Henry/meeks, and hire jvg. I think that team can push 50 wins, top 4 in west.

  140. Slappy, great post, I alluded to the Wildcats being overanalyzed like the Miami Heat in another post and because of that Randle was ridiculously scrutinized when his teammates and coach made the game harder on him.

    People think Calipari is a great coach but he isn’t, I respect the man for what he has done to bring UK back to the elite level but he is more of a figurehead than anything who relies on recruiting and talent. Behind the scenes he does very little in terms of Xs and Os and his assistant coaches resent his ego and attitude. Cal really never ran an offense last year, truthfully it was just free flowing street ball. Randle was limited by the college game and even more so by the things I just mentioned.

    Darius posted this video on twitter http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ilFdwbTwL8 and while yes it is against high school talent, it shows the skills he was unable to showcase at UK. His nickname was Mini Lebron because of his wicked first step (and few PFs in the league will be able to stop it too). I see plenty of Lamar in him because I followed him enough in high school to know what he wasn’t able to showcase in high school.

    We got a player who could have arguably gone number 1 at #7. I will take Randle over Jabari any day of the week because Jabari isn’t as great of an athlete and he will struggle more than randle at his position in the NBA particularly on defense. And I would definitely take him over Wiggins because he has that Kobe killer instinct that Wiggins may never develop. Not to mention Wiggins is just as raw as Embiid, not really elite at anything other than being an athlete and defender, and there are plenty of those type guys in the league.

  141. People!!!!!! If LBJ and Melo don’t come we tank and wait for Durant, Davis, and another star. This isn’t rocket science. We dont want to be an average team. We want to win championships. The salary cap space won’t burn a whole in our pocket. I promise.

  142. *sigh* Lebron and Melo ain’t coming. The Lakers won’t thank because thats not who this team is and before the team can be good again they need to start building a foundation. Mitch been saying it for a while. That while they would go all out if those two are available, they are setting things up so they can be players in free agency next summer and the summer after that while amassing talent at the same time. If we have a foundation the FAs that they really crave will come. This is not the summer for that.

  143. Lakers 17
    Perfect Godfather references
    Took the liberty of sharing that one w friends.

    Robert
    Wow – Biff IS running the Lakers.
    Classic.

    Rr
    I’d definitely welcome Stephenson.
    Also read a report that Chandler Parsons is a RFA. I’m really up on Parsons. Love to see him in the FBG.

    Randle’s YouTube link that Eric/Darius posted is really impressive. Looks like we’re hanging onto this pick and with good reason.

  144. Slappy,

    Moore’s piece was a plusses and minuses piece, and the list of other NBA power forwards is irrelevant. A guy in the other thread posted some D numbers comping Randle and Vonleh; I found the source and posted some O numbers doing the same comp. adding in Alex Gordon. Some of the numbers were very favorable to Randle; others, not so much. But some of them did make feel better about him.

    So, the argument appears to be:

    1. He is faster and more athletic than people realize and has more of a floor game/outside shot than people realize, so he is some ways more Lamar Odom than poor man’s Zach Randolph.
    2. He was held back severely by Calipari’s system and by his teammates at Kentucky.
    3. He has a great motor, attitude etc.

    Eric,
    I have never heard anyone who follows or writes about college ball suggest that Calipari is a master tactician/Xs and Os guy, and I think very few people believe that he is a “great coach” in that sense. They might have thought that when he was at UMass, but his public image now is that of a recruiter, a salesman, a guy whose pitch to elite recruits is “I can get you ready for the NBA.”

  145. Metta World Peace = Lucca Brasi
    ___
    hahaha

  146. Aaron,

    There are three issues with that:

    1. Kobe. If that was the plan, then the Lakers should have played hardball with him and opened up more or less the whole cap. Then, if James and Anthony et al went elsewhere, been prepared to face a couple of years or more of being the 76ers if Kobe had been mad enough to actually walk. I also think the FO thinks that the market, the TV contract, and the franchise’s history make such a strategy infeasible. The team might be really bad anyway, but if it is, I think it will be because things go wrong, not by design.
    2. They have traded away so many draft picks. Tanking this year might make sense, since the pick headed to PHX is Top 5 protected, depending on how FA goes, but as I said on draft night, I think going with Randle over Vonleh was probably done in part since the consensus is that Randle is more ready to step into an NBA lineup immediately than Vonleh is.
    3. Unless the rookie in question is a guy like Kareem 1970 or Magic 1980 or Shaq 1993, I don’t see young guys being huge draws for today’s FAs in today’s league. One of the SSR guys tried to sell this going into this season–that this draft was so awesome that the Lakers should totally tank 2014 because if they got Wiggins or Parker then LeBron would want to be here. I told him at the time that I thought that was wrong, (not tanking per se, but thinking it would draw LeBron) because this draft was not a lock to have a surefire franchise anchor, and it didn’t. If Durant and Davis bail their current teams they will want to contend immediately. Durant is actually contending now–he just hasn’t won. Having good players on rookie deals would help with that, but it certainly wouldn’t guarantee it. And, I think guys tend to want to play with guys their own age who are on their timelines–like the Heat Big 3 joining up in 2010 and now wanting Anthony, Howard wanting to go to Houston, and Kobe always wanting other veterans around.

  147. Kobe will not allow the Lakers to tank, as long as he is playing on the floor.

  148. Aaron: So is your pipedream dead (again)? You and I have been on the multi – year tank bandwagon for a while. As per above, rr knows it is a viable strategy, but he is correct that the Lakers probably will not pursue it, and if they are pursuing it, they went about in a very odd/ineffective way.

    Darius: Saw your tweet with regard to the KB contract and could not agree more. There was no negotiation. They offered and KB said OK. How can anyone blame KB for that?

    Lakers 17: While the Godfather references are nice – what I really look forward to, is your incrementing your screen name by one. What will happen first – Lakers 17 or Godfather IV?

    Coach: So now the Nets are in the market. We have been in the market for 2 months. Who will hire first? Us or the Nets. Hollins and the usual suspects are coming up for the Nets. Might even Byron’s name come up? We need to move and hire Byron (again suggestions are welcome – but the list is certainly dwindling and the Nets will take one more name). This war of attrition is not very scientific and it does not look good for anyone.

  149. Rr, some analysts do I know Barkley loves the guy. It also may do with the fact that I live in Kentucky and most of the fans are irrational as it is the most basketball obsessed state in the country. Hard to live in a state where everyone claims to be a Celtic fan because of Rondo.

    Btw the rumor is true that Randle skipped a second workout for the Celtics to go to a GQ interview instead (no matter what anyone hears differently). Calipari and Julius’ camp wanted him to be a Laker from the moment he declared for the draft.

  150. “Kobe will not allow the Lakers to tank, as long as he is playing on the floor.”

    I assume by “tanking”, we’re talking about passing on any even remotely costly FA vets, and therefore the FO just not giving the team any real shot at being competitive. Does anyone really see that happening? I think getting LeBron and Melo is more likely, and that’s already on a par with waiting for Santa to slide down the chimney.

    The Lakers might stink anyway, and all season we’ll hear the now familiar parrot squawk of “tank”, “tank.” But once the season’s underway, Kobe or not, the coaches and players will be trying to win games without a single thought about the next draft.

  151. There are good points being made by many commentators.

    I have always been of the mind that there was no way LeBron comes here but that it is smart to at least give it a chance of happening. His presence on any team is that spectacular. I have always said, unless the Lakers find defensive anchors at the 1 and 5, it makes no sense to bring in Melo. Having him and Kobe in the same lineup is just too much defensive liability to account for. If, at the same time, we are looking to have Kobe, Melo and Pau I just don’t see how defense will be played by this team. They will score but they will have those 4th quarter issues that no contending team can survive. Systems can only account for so much. Boston had perhaps the best defensive player of his generation and Rondo to help cover for whatever issues Pierce and Allen had. Plus, neither of those two was as bad as Kobe, Melo or Pau are today, on the defensive end… and Perkins was a good defender at the time. Same with Thibs’ players in Boston. They have Noah, and had Deng, both of whom are excellent defenders and other players who could play some positional defense and used their length. Pau, Melo and Kobe are all poor to horrible defenders and the guys around them don’t have the skill to fill in those massive cracks. The guys being suggested leave me wondering if there have been rule changes that prohibit the playing of defense in the NBA. I would sooner roll the salary we have over to the next FA class or two than spend it on Melo and coupling him with Pau and Kobe. I’m all for Pau if he’s willing to take $24m for 3 years, maybe frontload the contract to the degree the CBA allows. I think it turns out to be $11m then $6.5m and $6.5. Otherwise, I think the Lakers need to keep gathering assets instead of spinning their wheels on FA that will not take us deep into the playoffs nor allow us to keep drafting talent.

    I believe that the Lakers are best served trying to get LBJ and failing that to go along with Mitch’s plan of keeping salary cap room available for a deal or FA down the line. BTW, Anthony Davis is not a viable option. He will be a restricted FA in 2016. That means we could offer him the Max and, I promise you, the Pels will match. You guys need to learn the basics of the CBA. If you can access this site, you can access all the various sites that will educate you on basic CBA realities. I personally love Anthony Davis. If that kid stays healthy, he will be a major force in the league. He is a building block player that excels at both sides of the ball. He reminds me of young KG but more willing to go after contact on offense. I always thought KG would have been better served getting more of his points at the line and at the cup. The Brow does this. I love him.

    Failing to get LeBron, the Lakers should get some young guys on short, cheap deals. Keep trolling the scrap heap and see if they can scrounge up role players and turn them into assets. Develop Randle and roll that money over to a max player that is worth the max. Teams that spend just to spend are foolish. Collect and develop assets… that is the game right now.

  152. JC,

    I am not saying that Stephenson is necessarily a great idea (although I don’t see him as a bad one), just that I think there is a good chance that it will happen.

    Another thing they could try to do is Lowry + Gortat. The FO’s plan to transition from the Phil Era was to bring in Paul and Howard. They almost did it, but between some bad luck and some bad management, it didn’t happen. Lowry and Gortat are kind of a second/third-tier version of Paul and Howard. With Kobe and Nash’s salaries, money would be tight with that, and other teams could offer more, but they could sell Lowry and Gortat on the profile-raising element (might not work–Lowry is from Philly and Gortat is from Poland so LA and the Lakers may mean nothing to them) of being on the Lakers, and then with Randle at the 4, Kobe back at the 2, and probably either Xavier Henry or Wesley Johnson back as the 3, the Lakers could sell it to TWC and the fanbase as an instant reload, and it would not rule out a big FA chase when Kobe’s deal expires.

    Again, not saying this is necessarily a great plan. Just one way they can try to go, among many.

    The reality is that the Lakers are in such a bad spot, that, as with the coaching hire, any plan for rebuilding the roster is going to have obvious flaws and questions attached.

  153. rr,
    The best and easiest way to attract three max guys is to have a young cheap good supporting core on rookie deals. That’s how you do it. Kobe’s contract comes off the books when Davis, Durant, and Westbrook are free agents. Now I wouldn’t want westrbook because he is a PG with knee issues now.

  154. if melo joins lbj, bosh, and wade in miami then i hope all fans will just get sick and tired of the nba and boycott the entire season. it’s ridiculous and not even entertaining. who wants to watch a stacked team wipe out inferior teams? i honestly wouldn’t want the lakers to be so stacked that there is no competition. why even play the game?

    The beauty of the lakers/celtics rivalry was that they both had great players but it was the competition that made it worth watching and rooting for your team.

    Watching a loaded miami team steamroll through the east is mindless. why even have a regular season and playoff series?

  155. Parsons will be open bidding if Houston believes it can sign Melo. Otherwise they will match.

  156. The Lakers might stink anyway, and all season we’ll hear the now familiar parrot squawk of “tank”, “tank.” But once the season’s underway, Kobe or not, the coaches and players will be trying to win games without a single thought about the next draft.

    One more time: No one is saying that the guys on the court will not or should not try hard. The question is whether the roster is run by the coach and constructed by the FO to maximize this year’s win total, or not. The Lakers didn’t tank last year, and a couple of late-season blow-ups by Nick Young and Chris Kaman contributed to the Lakers dropping to 7th in the draft–and many of us noted this at the time, particularly since Young’s game lead to a win in Utah–you know, the team that now has Lakers fanbase and scouting fave Dante Exum.

    Will this hurt the Lakers? Maybe, maybe not. But since you can’t seem to get your head around the team “tanking” without mocking those who use it, you should call it something else, like “tactically retreating to prepare for future battles.”

  157. P Ami,

    Good points on Davis. He is not going anywhere for a long while. Also, I am not seeing that Durant will necessarily be wanting out of OKC. They haven’t won, but they are putting contenders on the floor.

  158. Don’t understand the love affair with Lowry. He’s 28 and on his third team. He’s barely 6 feet and for those that just discovered him : he’s coming off a career year. He is likely to be overpaid. This is exactly the player the Lakers need to avoid. He will be an over paid vet taking up needed cap space by the time the Lakers are ready to compete.

    When in doubt: think young talent!

  159. ‘But since you can’t seem to get your head around the team “tanking” without mocking those who use it, you should call it something else, like “tactically retreating to prepare for future battles.”’

    “Kobe will not allow the Lakers to tank, as long as he is playing on the floor.”

    That is what I was referencing. If no one is squawking during the season about tanking on the court, then I won’t have anything to mock. I figure they will, and the temptation will be there.

  160. @Robert “Lakers 17: While the Godfather references are nice – what I really look forward to, is your incrementing your screen name by one. What will happen first – Lakers 17 or Godfather IV?”

    Godfather IV would be awesome, but the the answer is, there will not be a Lakers 17th if I keep using Lakers in any combinations with a 17. I need to apologize to all Lakers fans for jinxing any chance we had by using this screen name, as we have been stuck at 16 ever since I started to use this name.

  161. @ rfen “If no one is squawking during the season about tanking on the court, then I won’t have anything to mock. I figure they will, and the temptation will be there.”

    ——–

    Truly. It’s tiresome to hear the same stuff over and over, like what used to be called a broken record.

    Kinda like this bizarre fantasy being mentioned seemingly every 3.5 seconds of ‘Melo and LBJ taking huge pay cuts to join forces on the Lakers. *sigh*

  162. rr– I don’t know what odds I would need in order to bet my own money on Durant coming. As the Lakers front office I would have some influence on the situation and can increase my chances of getting him into FB&G armour. In the 2016 off season you can sell Durant on this one thing…

    The Lakers will never refuse to spend money on talent. Had the Lakers had Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka and Harden… and had made it to the finals, I am confident the front office would have never let Harden go. They would have paid well into the tax and then used a mid-level exception to bring in a veteran looking for a ring (probably Derek Fisher). I know for a fact that all those OKC guys love LA. A guy I play with at the gym works in a club in Hollywood. Those guys were always there when the team was in town and were around a lot during the off season. I think you can sell Durant on the city, the market, the tradition and, most of all, the fact that the Lakers take care of their guys. Kobe got his. The Lakers have a whole station that beams 24/7 Lakers propaganda and it’s basically staffed by former players (BTW, I read the stuff you guys were saying about the interview process with Byron. I just find it funny that Byron gets to use the TWSports platform to sell himself as coach. The other day he was giving an interview about the interview process and what he thinks he brought to the meeting. I’m waiting to see how it plays if Byron doesn’t get the job. Do they just pretend the interview never happened? How professional will Byron be? All that stuff might upgrade the TWS station from propaganda organ to a soap opera vehicle) I think the Lakers can definitely leverage that mistake OKC made with Harden into a nice selling point. I think there is a chance for Durant if they build a competitive team.

  163. In certain scenarios, Lakers can offer Lebron and Melo 17 mil first year if we trade nashs contract with Randle for expiring contracts and a future first rounder. I am not sure if they will take that much of a paycut considering California tax. Lebron/Kobe/Melo… not bad, you start signing guys to minimum and midlevel and go over the cap and pay luxury.

  164. http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/24601221/report-suns-to-make-big-offer-to-gordon-hayward-jazz-likely-to-match

    A real talent, very similar numbers to Paul George. Obviously not the defender that George is, but a better scorer and playmaker. No Melo? Make a run at him. But is he worth a max deal? For a small market team (Utah/Phoenix) that might not able to attract or keep a star (see Minnesota) the answer is yes. The Lakers are likely to save max dollars for bigger fish.

  165. bryan s,

    I like both Hayward and Bledsoe…but I can’t see PHX and/or UTA letting them go unless the Lakers make a really outrageous offer.

  166. Tanking: Well, if the team is about like it was this past year, or a little better or a little worse, any of which could easily happen, then instead of draft position, the issue will be about whether the Lakers get a lottery pick at all, in a draft in which there are, supposedly, a lot of good big man prospects. So, unless the team is a lot better, it is going to be a topic. I think the FO is very much trying to avoid having it be an issue, and, like last year, will be trying to get the team into the back end of the playoff race. But that is not going to be easy. Denver and New Orleans have already added solid, serviceable veterans in their 20s (Afflalo and Asik) and are both trying to get into that picture themselves.

    Lowry: There is some downside risk with him. But the other options, not including Bledsoe, are guys like Farmar and Vasquez. Lance Stephenson is 5 1/2 years younger than Lowry.