A Simple Look at the Lakers’ Potential Depth Chart

Darius Soriano —  August 11, 2014

Within the next two months, the Lakers will begin training camp. While the team hopes to shock the league and critics alike by performing at a level that will see them compete for the playoffs, reality, as of today, is one of justified doubt. Most of that doubt, of course, centers on the roster construction of the team. After striking out in their chase for a major free agent this summer, the Lakers will field a team of mixed of hold-overs from last season’s disaster squad and new blood who has more questions than answers about how good they can perform next year*.

With that said, lets take a very early look the team’s depth chart, with a quick look at who should be slotted where in terms of starter vs bench and at what position:

Point Guards:

  1. Jeremy Lin
  2. Steve Nash
  3. Jordan Clarkson

Unless Nash makes some miraculous recovery and is held on a strict minutes restriction as a starter, I see no scenario where Lin isn’t the clear cut starter. The question is more likely to be whether the Lakers sign a 4th point guard as insurance against a Nash injury and/or to avoid having to rely on a 2nd round rookie Jordan Clarkson (who, for the time being is not yet even signed). We have talked about Lin some already, but to recap he offers a well rounded offensive game and a solid defensive background. On this team, he’s clearly the best point guard and should be treated as such.

Shooting Guards:

  1. Kobe Bryant
  2. Nick Young

Kobe at the top is obvious so lets leave any discussion about him for another day (or at least to the bottom of this post). The real question is if you see Young as the backup shooting guard or the starting small forward. Clearly, for me, it’s the former. While Young may fashion himself a starter, I still see him best suited as a reserve who offers scoring punch that can help prop up a second unit. I don’t have much doubt that Young can play next to Kobe in certain lineups, but I’d much prefer a better defender on the wing to serve as a better compliment to #24 on that end of the floor.

Small Forwards:

  1. Xavier Henry
  2. Wesley Johnson

Some might want to reverse this and to me that would be fine. Neither Henry nor Johnson are particularly strong players and both possess holes in their respective games. I choose Henry over Johnson, however, because he’s the more complete offensive player and when combined with what I see as only a marginal difference in defensive value, I’ll take the southpaw. In reality, though, this is easily the Lakers’ weakest position and I would not be surprised if Ryan Kelly ends up stealing some minutes at SF just because of the minute crunch that will exist at PF. The hope, though, is that Henry shows that some of the success he had last year was not a fluke and that he can continue to be an offensive player who can hit the three ball while getting to the paint to either finish or draw fouls to get to the FT line. That combination is the foundation for a useful offensive player and if he can learn to pass a bit better, he would be a nice complement in most lineups.

Power Forwards:

  1. Julius Randle
  2. Carlos Boozer
  3. Ryan Kelly

First of all, I would not be surprised if Boozer starts. He’s the veteran and his history of success will surely matter to Byron Scott and, to a certain extent, Kobe Bryant. I have Randle as the #1, though, because right now I think he offers more value and is actually the better pairing at PF with a lineup that features Kobe. For one, Randle’s quasi-perimeter oriented game should give Kobe more space to operate in the post and at the elbows offensively. Secondly, Randle’s ability to slash off the ball and make the catch to either finish or make the next pass will come in handy if/when Kobe draws extra defensive attention. Add in Randle’s superior athleticism to Boozer and how that can translate to better court coverage defensively and I’ll take the young pup over the old dog**. The other question, though, is how much will Ryan Kelly play in his more natural PF spot? With Boozer and Randle clearly in front of him, Kelly may struggle to see many (any?) minutes at PF. This will be a story worth watching as the season develops.

Centers:

  1. Jordan Hill
  2. Ed Davis
  3. Robert Sacre

This seems pretty straight forward to me, but who knows how Scott will see it. Maybe he envisions Davis as more of a PF (which, if that is the case, the minute crunch becomes nearly untenable at PF). Maybe Sacre’s hard work will elevate him to the #2 center. What is clear, however, is that Hill is a center in this league and he should be getting roughly 28-32 minutes a night at that spot while Davis/Sacre fight for the other 16-20. Hill’s workload will vary by circumstance — is he getting tired? is he in foul trouble? — but for the most part he should see a heavy increase in minutes from last year and should see his per game averages jump up into the solid double-double range (I’m thinking something like 13 points and 10 rebounds) nightly.

Barring something unforeseen, this is about how I see things playing out — at least by the time the season ends. You can quibble with Young’s slotting or with Henry vs. Johnson, but these are minor things. None of these guys are true difference makers (though, to be fair, Young can win you a game if he gets hot from the field) and getting too wrapped up in where any one of them ends up isn’t a strong use of your time. At some point I’d imagine all will get their chance to show that they belong in the rotation, although my gut tells me Scott will not be nearly as shifty in his lineups as his predecessor was.

When looking at this team, especially when it’s laid out in this manner, it’s easy to see why folks would be down on this roster. Right now they have serious questions on the perimeter and a log-jam at the big man spots. As it has been in season’s past, this roster looks to be severely imbalanced and I wonder how Scott will manage to put together capable lineups that mesh well enough to compete while not shortchanging players out of minutes they’ll probably deserve. We’ll see how Scott approaches things, but in my humble opinion, the above is likely about the best he can do.

*Kobe can fit into either the “holdover” or “newcomer with question marks” categories for this particular post. Though he’ll be entering his 19th season with the team and is clearly an institution, he also only appeared in 6 games last year and has more questions than any other player on the roster due to his health and recovery from significant injury. In some ways, then, I find it hard to even group him with last year’s team but he’s definitely a guy who no one can be completely sure about. So, go ahead and classify him however you want.

**It’s yet to be seen how well Randle can defend at the NBA level and there are serious doubts he will be a guy who protects the rim as a back-line defender in the pros. Add in the fact that rookies — especially big men — face a tremendously steep learning curve defensively and there are more reasons to doubt. That said, Randle’s mobility is worlds better than Boozer’s and I am betting that mobility will translate to better ability to defend in space while also being able make the needed rotations to the three point and back to the paint that are required of big men. Plus, when it’s all said and done, we know that Boozer can’t defend well so I’d rather let Randle try and maybe fail than Boozer try and surely fail.

Darius Soriano

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111 responses to A Simple Look at the Lakers’ Potential Depth Chart

  1. Well that was depressing.

  2. I rather see Kobe at the 3 and Henry or Young at the 2. I wish we had Bazemore, still.

  3. The team as currently laid out is like a donut… Nothing in the middle. A physical center with some size and defensive chops would help solidify this lineup in a big way. Otherwise you’ve got Hill and Davis playing out of position.

  4. Well… we all know we’re not going to be contenders right away with this roster… anyway basketball is not an exact science. you just can’t say how a team develops relying on evaluation based on what the team looks like on paper. What about the Suns last year? Everybody expected them to be a tanking team and eventually developed chemistry and were exciting all year despite missing the playoffs in the end. This roster may have holes… especially on the defensive end… but it may be deeper than you would expect… especially if the rookies can contribute right away at a high level. As today’s Nba is conceived you should be happy if your team is very very good and excels or you’d rather have a very bad team… being stuck in the middle and being a virtual first round exit each and every year is the real worst case scenario.
    So… just relax guys and enjoy the season looking mainly at young talent developing instead of focusing on actual wins.
    That’s the appropriate way to build a contender and if you can’t have a star or two right away… just need patience and hopefully it won’t be the depressing disaster of last year.

  5. dont blame fish August 12, 2014 at 5:29 am

    And what about kareem, magic and wilkes playing some minutes for the vets min???. After all they showed support to byron scott, no??.

  6. Thanks D for a very realistic picture of our team as it currently constituted. Very weak at the 3 & 5, a huge question pertaining to expectations at the 2, directional uncertainty at the 4 & still not too clear at the 1. With that said, I can’t wait until the season starts. Looking forward to seeing these questions answered and hoping we as Laker fans have more to cheer for this season than witnessing Kobe pass Jordan on the NBA all time scoring list.

    Question: what is the “official” reason Clarkson hasn’t been signed yet?

  7. I slightly agree about the starters though I would probably bring henry off the bench and have Johnson start at the two. The more important question for me is who will end the game. I see it this way: Lin; Kobe; Swaggy; Randle; Hill. To me that seems to be a strong offensive team though I think you may see a lot of Wesley Johnson against teams with more versatile wings. He clearly plays better D than Young.

  8. what d u talking about d s–t.

  9. no 1 on the team played d last yr . check the stats. nick d was no worse than the team. better than most on the team.

  10. This is dumb to me and I’m tired of all the self-hate from Lakers fans. Part of me being a fan of Kobe and the Lakers is to remember that with a healthy mamba and Scott…..we can have a very good season. Stop with the crap….Boozer needs to start. Randle can be good but he is young and raw. He over dribbles and plays fairly wild especially in college. He is not yet capable of fully understanding floor spacing also. Next, get off Hill’s back…..dude can average at least 15 and 10-12 with about 2 blocks just off his energy. He had some very nice plays and moves last year and I have no doubt in my mind that he can perform in a big way if he stays healthy. I also believe Nick Young needs to start for the simple fact that if you find a away to get him and Kobe on the same page and on the court at the same time…..it will be very hard to double Kobe with Young getting hot. Back to Boozer….the boy has a jumper, a great Offensive game, and rebounding……don’t forget that so cut him some slack. He almost averaged a double double in only 26 minutes last year and no 4th quarters. We are going to be deep as well. Henry is nice, Wesley has been training with Kobe so hopefully he will be better and I like Davis as well. We were a great offensive team last year so unless these guys forgot how to score…..and if Kobe and Nash are healthy…..we should be able to score…..we just gotta play D. Scott has his hands full there but if we buy in……I see no reason why we will not be formidable other than stupid people…..some that even claim to be Lakers fans without the Kobe mentality smh…..we can have a good season and at the very least a much better season than last year.

  11. So our best lineup is probably lin-kobe-swaggy p-boozer-hill
    Well that’s not soooooooo bad right?

  12. It’s not what’s wrong with that? The game Kobe got hurt and ended his season last year…..we beat Memphis and Kobe put the work on arguably the best defender in the league in Tony Allen and we won the game with his knee fractured. Your telling me we can’t win with that starting lineup if we play defense? They can all score so I’m not worried about that…..

  13. Let me be clear…..the Lakers will have no problems on offense next year…..we have to play defense.

  14. Oh man our bench is paper thin, especially at pg. I really can’t believe we didn’t keep Jordan Farmar. That’s a huge loss. Who is Lin’s back up? A 2nd round rookie? That should make make us very nervous. Will clarkson really be able to backup lin for 15-20 minutes a night. The odds are very much against it. Then we have Steve Nash…if he was a horse he’d be on a truck to the glue factory. Let’s be realistic, the only games Nash is going to play in are the ones we play in association mode on nba2k15.

    Two solid bench bugs in Davis and Randle. I completely disagree with this forum about Ryan Kelly, I think he’s garbage and if he’s in the rotation playing more than mop up minutes the suns will getting a sweet draft pick. It was just Dantoni getting a scrub empty stats on a lottery team like he sometimes does. Even still our bigs are solid and we have a coach who won’t bury Hill and the other big men on the bench.

    I really think pg play when Lin goes to the bench could be a disaster though. Maybe Clarkson will develop, maybe he’ll be ginobli type 2nd round steal but I highly doubt he’ll be ready to be a NBA rotation pg in November.

  15. @jboyks I’m not worried about Kobe at all. I said on here before I’d like to get to Vegas and make a prop bet about what 2 guard makes the all NBA 1st team for next season. I bet Kobe has like 8 to 1 or worse (better) odds, and I think if he plays 75 games its at least 50-50. Kobe will be fine.

    I’m worried about Boozer as our best big at the 4. He is actually better than the people here give him credit for and he’s been a winner his whole career which people like to act like doesn’t matter, but he sucks on defense. Also I don’t know about our bench. But if we can get to crunch time our best 5 is not bad.

  16. i predict boozer will start so they can give randle time to develop
    also out of some respect for boozer’s league ‘seniority’
    Boozer will prob play very hard this year; he’ll have a chip on his shoulder
    he has something to prove after being amnestied and benched for large portions last year

    Lin can play 30 min if he’s performing well, so that’s only 18 between Nash and Clarkson
    so i actually think that’s enough depth there –
    the real question is, how will Lin perform as a starter?
    I think he proved he can do well on a big stage in NY
    He also has some things to prove after being dumped and benched in Houston
    so he’ll be very motivated
    I think Lin is a guy who will value the opportunity to play with Kobe and Nash

    I do like Hill at the 5 and Davis will also be playing hard to re-establish his NBA value
    so I think we will be ok at the 5.

    Kobe of course is the linchpin
    will he share the ball?
    Can he still score 25 without shooting us out of games?
    Kobe will play 2 guard I think…not at the 3.

    which leaves us a little thin at the 3.
    I do agree that Swag shd come off the bench
    to provide that spark,
    however, maybe the contract they gave him means they want him to start?
    I’d still like to see Beasley here
    maybe that’s why they haven’t signed Clarkson yet?
    Salary cap reasons?

    I’m warming up to the idea of Byron being tough enough
    and focusing on Defense in his practices and approach
    so I think we’ll be competitive.

    Lots of question marks and lots of potential here
    should make for a better season than last year…
    (barring more injuries!)

  17. Randle should get a look at SF, not because his size is a disadvantage at PF, but because on paper the Three is our weakest position. Plus, I think we can field a better team with Boozer as a PF (backup C) and Ed Davis as a PF. Darius mentioned that we are close to having too many bodies at PF. To be successful Byron needs to focus on putting the 5 best players on the court as often as possible.

  18. Given what we know, the lineups make sense. It is tough to predict who will start and who will be first off the bench until we know what defense and offense the Lakers will play. Also, are the Lakers going to risk it all to try to make the playoffs like they did 2 years ago or will they focus more on developing their young players?

    The Lakers will have to adapt to the players recovering from injuries. If Nash is to play, and he is not returning to be a cheerleader, then he will have to start the 1st and 3rd quarters. This will give him time to warm up and loosen up. It will not work for him to come off the bench. Once he plays his minutes then he will stay out until half or he is done for the game. Kobe will monitor his own minutes and let Scott know when he wants to be in. Hill has had knee and hip injuries over the past few years and cannot be counted on for 30 min per game. He will be doing well to give a consistent 20-25 min a night. Lastly, Boozer comes in with his injured pride. He did not sign with the Lakers to sit on the bench. He will demand major minutes and will be a test of Scott’s ability to manage minutes for his PF’s.

  19. Thoughts:

    -For those drooling or simply contemplating a backcourt of pre-injury Kobe & “Linsanity”, let’s remember, both did their best work & were most effective as ball dominant guards.

    -ESPN is currently posting it’s Summer forecast for the 2014-15 Western Conf final regular season standings as per 210 NBA “experts” (http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/ESPN-Forecast-panel-130415/espn-forecast-panel ). So far, #1 Thunder, #2 Spurs. Note: rating prediction is based on regular season records. Last season our Lakers were predicted to finish 12th in the West, they finished 14th…this s/b fun.

  20. Everybody focus on start players….what happend with the line up when the game is on the line….who´s your choise to close games?…The number is a position (1: guard, 2: Shooting guard, etc)
    Option A: 1) Lin, 2) Kobe, 3) Swaggy P, 4)Boozer 5)J. Hill
    Option B: 1)Lin, 2)Swaggy P, 3)Kobe, 4) Randle 5)J. Hill
    Option C: 1)Kobe 2)Swaggy P, 3)Randle 4)Boozer 5)J. Hill
    Option D: 1)Lin 2)Kobe, 3)R Kelly 4)Randle 5)J. Hill
    Option E: 1)Lin 2)Kobe, 3)X. Henry 4)Johnson 5)Ed Davis
    Option F: 1)Swaggy P 2)Kobe, 3)Johnson 4)Boozer 5)J. Hill

    Make your choise Bro.

  21. @ Ryan:
    “Then we have Steve Nash…if he was a horse he’d be on a truck to the glue factory. Let’s be realistic, the only games Nash is going to play in are the ones we play in association mode on nba2k15″
    ———————–
    We can hope Nash is able to play but hope is not a strategy.

  22. ESPN’s Western Conf 2014-15 summer predictions are out. The consensus vote of 210 of their basketball experts is that the Lakers will go 30-52, finishing 12th in the West and out of the play-offs.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/11334331/2014-summer-forecast-west-standings

    Fair assessment?

  23. Also what do they do if Lin gets hurt? Yeah the more I look at it the more I’m worried about this team. Best case scenario might be getting Kobe 30 shots a game so he can make a run at the scoring title.

  24. while this team certainly is more likely to be doomed if players are injured than in the previous championship years because there’s no doubt that it’s not a powerhouse, injuries to key players is ALWAYS a recipe for disaster. even if the Lakers had gotten Lebron and your favorite center in this year’s free-agency, a key injury or two might have brought disaster. there’s no point worrying about it now. if something bad happens, it happens. what can be done otherwise?

  25. Greg Monroe is apparently going to sign a one-year QO for 5.5M with the Pistons. This means that he will be a UFA in 2015.

  26. I like this team better than last years team but not by a lot. I like this Lakers frontcourt ALOT more, then again D’Antoni was inexplicably giving power forward minutes to undersized “stretch 4’s” who don’t stretch the defense in Shawne Williams and Wesley Johnson.

  27. Based on the total minutes played last season, these were the 10 main players for the Lakers:

    1) Nick Young, SF-SG
    2) Pau Gasol, C
    3) Jodie Meeks, SG
    4) Wesley Johnson, PF-SF
    5) Kendall Marshall, PG
    6) Jordan Hill, C-PF
    7) Ryan Kelly, PF-SF
    8) Robert Sacre, C
    9) Jordan Farmar, PG
    10) Xavier Henry, SG-SF

    For next season, the playing time is projected to be distributed among:

    1) Jeremy Lin, PG
    2) Kobe Bryant, SG
    3) Nick Young, SF
    4) Julius Randle, PF
    5) Jordan Hill, C
    6) Steve Nash, PG
    7) Xavier Henri, SG-SF
    8) Wesley Johnson, SF
    9) Carlos Boozer, PF
    10) Ed Johnson, C

    In essence, we are replacing Jodie Meeks, Pau Gasol, Wesley Johnson, Kendal Marshall and Nick Young for Kobe Bryant (huge upgrade), Jordan Hill (slight decrease), Julius Randle (huge upgrade), Jeremy Lin (huge upgrade) and Nick Youg (even), respectively. For the supporting cast roles, we are replacing Jordan Farmar, Jordan Hill, Ryan Kelly, Robert Sacre, Jordan Farmar and Xavier Henry for Steve Nash (slight upgrade), Ed Johnson (even), Wesley Johnson (even), Carlos Boozer (huge upgrade) and Xavier Henri (even), respectively.

    Lakers definitely have a slight chance to slip into a playoff spot, considering: a) the significant improvement that represents the inclusion of Kobe, Lin, Randle, Nash, Johnson and Boozer in the roster; b) last season team was capable of playing for 500 the first 26 games when injuries started to dismantled an already diminished team (Blake, Farmar, Henri and Gasol went down – no point guard for a while); c) that the current roster and coach will play significantly better defense; and, d) my belief that Houston and/or Portland are not a sure bet for a spot in the playoff.
    Lakers will definitely be better next season than Utah, Sacramento, New Orleans and Minnesota and we will have the tools to compete with Denver and Phoenix. If my predictions are correct Houston (having to replace Parsons, Lin and Asik for Ariza) and Portland (counting on Aldrige and Lilard repeating their miracle season) will not have a season similar to the last one. Therefore, I believe that the last two playoff spots in the West could very well be a close battle among Houston, Portland, Phoenix, the Lakers and Denver that will be decided by health, energy, defense, bench and strategy (coach). All these teams are and will be capable of playing a good and balanced offense but they all were among the 10 worst teams in points allowed in the NBA last season.

  28. I have a more positive outlook for this team. I like most of the moves the front office did. Even with Melo not coming here their max offer forced the KKnickks hand into locking up an aging player for 5 years. Losing Farmer was no big deal he only played 41 and was hurt 20 of those.This team is younger, more athletic and better balanced . Ed Davis is considered by some to be the steal of free agency. When given minutes ,especially in Toronto , he was very productive. Scott has said he is a rim protector . He is the same size as J. Noah . Lin has been on the Lakers radar for his entire career. Very solid with potential to be outstanding. Boozer did avg about 13 and 7 last year. Fundamentally sound veteran presence.Both cost nothing but cap space. Randle and Clarkson picks show that the scouting dept that is mentored by Bill Bertka is doing well. Young at $5 mill for 4 is good deal, need scoring off bench. And he did improve on defense. This team wll surprise some people, both around the league and in the Laker fan base. GO LAKERS!!!

  29. This is the kind if team that would struggle even if you replaced an aging Kobe with a young Lebton . There are simply no defenders on this team, and on offense non of the players besides Kobe have any discipline or finesse. This is going to be painful year. And for what, the 5th pick in a weak draft and the Greg Monroe sweepstakes. Aargh!!

  30. Its looking like both Bledsoe and Monroe will be UFAs next year which gives us a good shot at getting both guys but I would wonder if having a monroe randle frontcourt is actually a good idea since most likely neither can protect the basket.

    I wonder if we do end up playing well if the suns or detroit would be willing to trade either to us at the deadline for a pick.

  31. the other Stephen August 12, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    The way I see it, the Ballmer sale accelerates the timetable for the Lakers, not necessarily to win a championship, but to at least lay down a solid roadmap and demonstrate coherent leadership. Without Sterling, the Clippers have moved past the only thing average basketball fans could reasonably continue to dislike about the franchise.

    If the Lakers continue to drift aimlessly, things are going to get a lot uglier than they’ve already been at home. Ballmer gives the team credibility at the top, which is the last piece of the puzzle, and will allow the team to attract fans unabated.

  32. Lakers are much better than last year and could land in the playoffs barring unforeseen health problems of our frail oldies, Kobe and Nash. As you can see, our analysis are conditional because they are coming from a bad season, happy that half of that roster are gone together with the not well liked Coach. Today, we are all excited to see how Lakers will perform even in the preseason games which is an acid test of how season will be played. From the roster presented by Darius, I say the 5 is the weakest link because of small Centers at 6’10”. The PF’s should all be active in helping for rebounds and double teeming. How can Hill stop Dwight on one-on-one or Marc Gasol or DeAndre Jordan, I think Ryan or Boozer has to help and repulse the height advantage of opponents. There will be a period of internship for Randle and Clarkson like most rookies do, hopefully they could manage their TO’s to minimum. Let the games begin, we are excited of the not-so-new Lakers.

    Off topic, Jim Buss has to be aware of the legitimacy of the Clippers this time under Ballmer era. Jimbo has to be more aggressive in improving the Lakers or else his franchise permanently occupies No. 2 position in LA. Clipper shadow is looming wider and wider, they just need to be in the Championship within two years’ time while Dodgers wins the NLCS pennant, by then, Jim Buss stature becomes lesser and forgettable.

  33. Lets just say this is how I see it playing out, or atleast how I would do it if I was Scott:

    1: Lin (30) Henry (12) Clarkson (6)
    2: Bryant (30) Henry (12) Young (12)
    3: Johnson (18) Young (24) Kelly (6)
    4: Randle (25) Boozer (23)
    5: Hill (30) Davis (12) Sacre (6)

    If you think Ryan Kelly took a major step in his game, he should get a significant bump in his minutes.

    Without Nash accounted for, I think Xavier Henry will get PG minutes. He did so last season, he would get some this year.

    I think Randle and Boozer will split time at PF. Boozer may still be the better overall player, but you are not doing Randle a favor by not playing him. He needs to develop.

    Jordan Hill will play minutes according to his efficacy. I’ve seen him as a player that plays so well in 18 minutes but starts to tire or reduce efficiency whence played 30+.

    Ed Davis will gain minutes as Jordan Hill relinquishes them.

    Jordan Clarkson is not even signed yet, but I think he will be part of the team eventually.

    Wes Johnson is there at start of games to establish defensive tempo and perhaps leak out on fastbreaks but his minutes are in danger of being lost to Henry, Young and Kelly.

    Randle will not be giving us a double double right off the bat, but thats the plan. He needs to tune his body up, learn the game at the pro level, and hopefully his bball iq is higher than expected (we expect high) so he can learn all these things smoothly.

    Boozer will give us efficient minutes in limited time, he can’t be allowed to start over Randle over the course of the season.

    Kelly and Sacre both getting 6mpg listed may or may not be in the rotation if the pieces work well. I would contend giving Swaggy more minutes coz he is a scoring machine when he’s hot.

  34. Just to touch on the clippers thing real quick: How could the clippers possibly cut into the Lakers fanbase? What kind of sports fans go and cheer for another team because they are winning more games than their favorite team? Did the Yankees fans become Mets fans in the mid 80’s when the Yankees sucked and the mets had a star studded team (that actually won a title)? No way. And that is the perfect analogy to this situation. If we do have lakers “fans” that switch to cheer for the clippers I say good riddance, those were the people making all Lakers fans look like front runners. Sometimes the hardest part of being a fan of the Lakers is dealing with that embarrassing portion of the fan base. Let them go be clippers fans. Fine by me!

  35. Kobe and Swaggy can not be on the floor at the same time, because both of them are ball-demanding players. And Swaggy and Henry are small forwards, not shooting guards. That is why, we need to add a back-up for Kobe at 2. Here are two names of still available UFA’s, who can fill that void.

    James Anderson (23) from Phoenix: 10.1 ppg – 3.8 rpg – 1.9 apg

    Jordan Crawford (25) Golden State: 11.0 ppg – 2.3 rpg – 3.5 apg.

    We can take anyone of them with our by-annual exception of $ 3.2 mil.

  36. Make your choise Bro.

    —-

    I choose….Spellcheck!

  37. Record wise I expect the Lakers to be a little better than last year. But seed wise I expect them to be about the same. The Western Conference is really deep. Last season’s 8 playoff teams should all be right there again. Of course there will be some shuffling of the deck. Phoenix and New Orleans will be right on the bubble fighting for the eighth seed. Phoenix improved with the addition of Thomas to their back court. The Pelicans improved with the addition of Asik up front to go next to Davis. That is a huge acquisition on their part. Both Asik and Davis excel defensively.

    Regarding the Clippers, I doubt the Lakers have much to worry about. They would have to be bad (missing the playoffs bad) for at least a decade before the Clippers make a real dent in their global popularity.

  38. That lineup is really not that good. Time to tank it to get the top 5 pick. If Cleveland can get 2 #1 picks in a row then surely we deserve a #1. Heck the league owes the Lakers the number 1 pick IMHO. We were jobbed by Stern as discussed many times here on this site. He wrecked one of the greatest franchises in all of sports (had some help from Jimbo too!) to setup the Clippers and New Orleans with two of the worst owners in the league.

    We need Stanley Johnson…day1 starter at the 3! Ron Artest 2.0 they say. They say he covered Afflalo and T-Mac and was more than up to the task. They were even coming at him and the kid did not back down held his own. 6’7″ – 240lbs.

    http://m.nbcsports.com/content/adidas-nations-college-counselor-superlatives

    Also, check out the UCLA boys representing!

  39. Damir- BAE was already used on Kelly and Henry according to Eric Pincus. All we have left is the vet minimum if we want to sign anyone else, unless Nash gets stretched which I don’t think will happen.

  40. @ the other Stephen August 12, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    ” … Without Sterling, the Clippers have moved past the only thing average basketball fans could reasonably continue to dislike about the franchise.”
    ————————————————–
    Well, if Ballmer (sic?) acts out like he has in many of his public appearances in his former capacity as Microsoft honcho I’m not sure what people will make of him. I will say he makes Mark Cuban seem very suave by comparison. How much that matters to the average fan, or how visible he will be as Clips owner, I don’t know.

  41. I think Randle and Boozer are about the same quality of player but I think they could be switched in and out effectively as their strong points are different. Randle I believe can be an excellent PF if matched up against Euro Style 3pt shooting PF’s where his speed is an asset on the perimeter. Randle is weak in the post against classic PF’s but this is where Boozer is longer and better suited to defend in the post. So I could see them being swapped almost nightly at the starting position based on who they are playing.

    The biggest question mark is at Center. I like Hill as a small ball center but an option for a shot blocker in the middle could really solidify this team.

  42. the other Stephen August 13, 2014 at 11:55 am

    @ R August 13, 2014 at 9:37 am

    R, that’s true. Ballmer is an unknown entity in terms of running a sports franchise, but he also created a terrible organizational culture and made poor strategic decisions at Microsoft. Still, he seems to share Mark Cuban’s passion for basketball, and also doesn’t come with the baggage of decades of racism and sexism, which is in itself addition by subtraction. I don’t think this will be as much an issue as I made it out to be, but the future landscape in L.A. will be interesting to survey.

  43. If the Lakers continue to drift aimlessly, things are going to get a lot uglier than they’ve already been at home. Ballmer gives the team credibility at the top, which is the last piece of the puzzle, and will allow the team to attract fans unabated.
    —————

    Isn’t this the same fear Dodgers fans voiced related to Disney’s purchase of the Angels, or even when Arte Moreno bought the Angels? Even though the Angels’ won a championship, while the Dodgers’ last World Series came when Ronald Reagan was still president, Los Angeles is still predominantly a Dodgers town. Not even McCourt could totally undo that fact. Looking globally, the Dodgers brand is stellar, whereas the Angels is middle of the pack. L.A. basketball is no different; it’s Lakers and then everyone else.

    Like the Dodgers, the Lakers brand has depth and history. A few good years by the Clippers won’t change that. Some fans may switch, and younger ones may don red and blue instead, but the Lakers brand will be fine, even with the Clippers doing better than before. So long as the on-court product is making headway, the fans are still going to show up and pay. And the on-court will get better as more young assets come into the fold.

    I’d personally be OK if they miss the playoffs next season, so long as they’re bad enough to keep their pick. I’m looking long-term, not to forgo a rebuild and dwell as a 5-8 seed for the next decade.

  44. the other Stephen: “If the Lakers continue to drift aimlessly, things are going to get a lot uglier” You could have left off the first part of the sentence. At this point – they almost have to get uglier before the real turn around occurs.
    T.Rogers/Ryan: Of course the Lakers will always be the Yankees to the Clippers role of the Mets. That said, the comparison is also good in that the Yankees FO has been accused of being a little meddling at times. They have had some down periods, and that is in spite of having no salary cap to contend with. So we are banking on our nostalgia, and legendary status along with of course the expert guidance of our FO to get us out of this.
    Oldtimer: “Jim Buss stature becomes lesser and forgettable.” Less than what? : ) What is the current stature? : )
    Ryan: I agree. I hate the Clippers. There are no second favorite teams, and there is no “rooting for the Clippers after we are eliminated because they are from LA”. Yankees hate Mets. Giants hate Jets, and Lakers hate Clippers. That said – the day the Mets and Jets won their first titles was a very sad day for old school New York fans. I am not looking forward to that happening in LA.

  45. There really isn’t much to talk about our current depth chart. Who gets more playing time or not is really not important because we really don’t know a) what offensive schemes Byron Scott will be using and b) what will Byron focus on (offense output, offensive execution, individual defense, defensive schemes, etc.). This is the roster that we have and after 20 games or so we will be able to judge his rotations and schemes.

    Regarding the roster itself, I really don’t have a problem with it since I honestly believe that the FO tried their best. I assume that money wasn’t an issue and they offered all they could to the big FA names out there at the time and also did their best to find suitable players. I do think that some past mistakes prevented us from getting better players, specially those terrible coaching hires (Mike Brown to MDA and now all these months of coaching uncertainty) and the “lack of direction” that Farmar mentioned after he signed for the Clippers. I also believe that not keeping a guy that took a home discount to come back to LA, is and will be a very solid player and signed for cheap with the Clippers should’ve been signed by us. Sometimes it’s about the message that we send to other free agents (unless there’s some injury issue that we don’t know about).

    So, here are my thoughts:

    Point guards

    I’m not a Jeremy Lin fan but nobody saw him play in a system offense yet (no, MDA’s SSOL is not a proper system offense) so we really don’t know how good of a PG he is. However, since the trade allowed us to get a 1st draft pick, I understand why the trade was made. I also understand not stretching Nash’s contract but let’s be honest and realize that he’s not able to contribute anymore. Jordan Clarkson is an unknown asset. It would’ve probably be better to keep Farmar even after the Lin trade and have them battle for minutes. Competition is a good thing and we had the cap to do it.

    Wings

    We don’t have a reliable wing defender in our roster. Period. That is all we can say about our wing rotation and I’m obviously not counting on Ryan Kelly nor Julius Randle to play out of position. Not that it would solve any problem, but there really isn’t much to be said. We don’t have a 3pt expert, we don’t have a pure slasher, we don’t have a long defender (Johnson could become that, but I doubt it) and Kobe is old and coming off injury. Byron better come up with some wacky defensive schemes to cover the holes we will have on the perimeter…

    Power forward

    Today we like to talk about the “stretch 4″ as if it was a necessity to win basketball games. It is not. The “stretch 4″ has been around for a long time and it’s something teams use when they lack quality big men that can be paired together. Obviously, because today’s game has less skilled big men, it’s easier to have a more perimeter oriented player but it’s definitely not a necessity if you can get proper PF’s. People question the hiring of Boozer and how much the lack of minutes will hurt Randle’s development. I see it the other way around. Being around a very solid power forward with great fundamentals on offense can only be good to Randle. Randle often drives a little bit out of control and during summer league he had some “luck”. Those drives that he finishes while falling away from the basket will not always go in, specially in crunch time. I believe he will be goo, but some Boozer fundamentals will help him more than immediate minutes as an NBA starter. Ryan Kelly is an afterthought at PF. I don’t care about metrics because most Laker games that I saw he seemed totally lost on defense and that’s something that should worry any coach. The eye test matters and he fails at that end. If he’s not the 11th or 12th guy in the rotation, then 30 wins is really the most we can hope for…

    Center

    We have an undersized center in Jordan Hill and that’s it. Ed played more of a PF role but maybe he can be used as a center. Sacre should be in D-League so what we really have is two good rebounders playing center. We don’t have a guy capable of doing any proper pivot work nor capable of dunking every ball within 3 feet of the basket. I’m sure that we did try to get more capable big men, but I’m also sure that the best big man available was Pau Gasol and the way that the FO/MDA treated him for these past two years simply wasn’t right and now he’s gone.

    So, here’s hoping that Byron Scoot is actually a great coach (he’s not) that can make this team a .550 team (we won’t be) and strike fear in our first round opponent (we won’t make it that far…). And since we don’t have our own draft pick, all we can hope for is the Eric Bledsoe/Greg Monroe sweepstakes of next season. I’m depressed now…

  46. @ Ryan, “How could the clippers possibly cut into the Lakers fanbase? What kind of sports fans go and cheer for another team because they are winning more games than their favorite team?” Easy answer, kids. Come on, you were young once. Kids 14 & under love to wear & connect w/ winning teams. Very easy to switch for them. Today’s 14 year olds will soon be a force to reckon with.

  47. the other Stephen August 13, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    @ Ryan August 13, 2014 at 7:47 am

    Ryan, I was just raising an observation, not referring to myself. But your nuanced discussion about fanhood is noted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7Bvk70VsI4. :D

  48. It is what it is–and that’s significantly worse than the start of last year. The rest of the league signed almost every free agent of interest and value from last year’s squad. we added two veteran players who were beaten out of their respective positions. Any starting 5 you pick is so-so, and depth is dangerously low at key positions. I like Byron Scott, but he is being given a team with D’Antoni defense.

    The prediction of 30-52 is generous–a few injuries away from a pipe dream. The malaise will continue at least until there is a complete rethinking of a Laker plan for the future, by a new management team with professional credentials.

    These are times of sorrow.

  49. X at point? he was horrible when inserted into that position last year. Let’s hope it never gets to that point.

  50. Los Angeles is still predominantly a Dodgers town.

    Well, yes, but as people in OC will remind you, the Angels don’t actually play in LA. There is no “LA” on their hats, unis, or in their stadium name. To their fans, IMO they are mostly just The Angels. Since the Clippers play in the same building as the Lakers do, it is a different thing.

    Robert and Sid are both right. There are some sports brands, including but not limited to…

    Dallas Cowboys
    New York Yankees
    Los Angeles Lakers
    Montreal Canadiens
    Real Madrid soccer
    USC football
    Duke basketball

    …that are strong enough to survive protracted down periods. But at the same time, to people ages 9-22 or so who usually don’t have much sense of history, the Clippers at the moment are, simply put, cool. They win games, and they have Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. The Lakers are not cool at all right now; they lose games and Kobe, while he is an international icon, played six games last year and is almost 36 years old. The Lakers are at the moment by FAR the worst major league sports team around here. The Kings have recently won two Cups, the Clippers, Angels, and Dodgers are all pretty good–and the Lakers’ most popular retired player is one of the faces of the Dodgers.

    So, while the Lakers brand is strong, it will definitely be affected by the situation that we are dealing with now.

  51. oh, dear!
    what will people think?
    let’s worry about that.

  52. let’s worry about that.

    Actually, based on post count and emotional intensity, the guy around here who worries/complains the most about fan behavior is, in fact, you. I personally am not worried about it at all. What I am concerned about is the lack of high-end NBA talent on the roster of my favorite team, as is explained in the post that is the lede to this thread.

  53. @ Renato Alfonso,

    Don’t get depressed, things will go better this year with the young blood and better coaching. Last season, they were wild stallions chuckling treys for every opportunity they got. Had a good PPG per player but worst defense. Lakers ace will still be on our veterans Kobe and Nash, if they are healthy and back in the groove, watch out! If they’re not, Lakers will be fighting for 8 seed.

    With regards to the Clippers, let’s hope Ballmer will pack up in two years’ time and move the team to Seattle. If they stay in LA, money wise they will be competing with the Buss Family. We saw how the big wigs moved this year, Lebron opted for more control and money with Cavs, Melo back to Knicks who paid him max so was Chris Bosh to Miami. Having said that, Lakers has to go beyond luxury taxes next season by signing mid tier level at least than venturing on Vet/Min players. Of course, we do understand that they would like to be below cap this season to avoid paying hefty fines on repeater tax. Lakers paying more to satisfy their big market will always be their prime objective. IMO, Lakers have been rebuilding since Mbrown took over in ’12, unlucky with their bets on Dwight and Nash; unlucky too with series of injuries under Dantoni. Therefore, if they continue rebuilding in ’15 and rebuilding in in ’16 by acquiring Vet Min players, it will eventually create an image of cellar dweller like the Charlotte or the Sacramento Kings…not good for Laker fans by Year ’17. There will be fan implosion in this mega market. This is not Cleveland where they can embrace mediocrity for a long period of time and still remain fanatic. The deal is a two-way street – “we pay the price as long you spend.”

  54. rr-when i specifically speak to you, don’t i usually note it, like now?
    I’m just laughing. i’m not worried. my name is mud. isn’t this fun and enjoyable, except during losses? are we really worrying about Clippers fans? will it improve the team? I’m not upset in any way, i was just making a comment. it’s not about stalking you. there have been several comments about this embarrassing tragedy.

  55. We need to sign Beasley. With Scott implementing a defensive culture

    I honestly believe we can win it all, if beasley was running with lakers. Kobe could teach this guy to be a winner. To be a passer.

    we could always have a 2 3 option of 
    kobe+beasley as starters.
    Xavier henry + young bench. 

    Lin kobe Beasley boozer hill
    Clarkson xavier young Randle ed Davis

    Best bench in the league right there ..

    Kobe and beasley could do this for the starting unit, as henry n young did for our bench

    Xavier Henry & Nick Young Full Highlights vs New …: http://youtu.be/c7LFDzZFerM

    Xavier finally did surgery and is fully healthy and has been practicing all summer. .. 

    Kobe Beasley Xavier Young. . Any one of those guys could carry the team any given nite if the other 3 was cold. 

    No brainer..sign Beasley now

  56. From the last thread:

    “take a look at sprinter speed times linked below…”

    From the Beeb:

    When events get under way at the London 2012 Games’ main stadium, most people following the drama on the track might not be aware they are also seeing a cutting-edge piece of technology.
    ***
    Unlike other track designs that combine traction and shock-absorption in an upper layer of rubber granules, the Mondo track separates these functions, with a cushion backing for shock absorption and a solid upper layer that optimises slip resistance, traction and durability.

    This design cuts the need for the spikes on athletes’ running shoes to penetrate the running surface. Shoes used on tracks fitted by the Italian firm are considerably shorter and non-penetrating.

    This means, the designers say, that less time and energy is lost going into the track and retracting the spikes afterwards.

    They didn’t have that when Jesse was running.

    By the way, Bolt’s times and those of everyone else should be asterisked. For why:

    “The two layers are vulcanized, a process which cross links the molecular structure of the different materials and makes the surface more uniform, stronger and elastic,”

    Elastic here means that track itself is springing him forward. So the track version of wind-aided. Good enough for an asterisk for me. The entirety of my case is thus:

    2: The track’s slip-resistance means that the spikes don’t need to pierce its surface to get a grip, boosting the athlete’s performance by cutting the penetration/retraction time 3: Elongated diamond shape cells, resembling a honeycomb, flex in every direction, providing more cushioning, optimum energy return and shorter reaction time. (the optimum energy return and shorter reaction time is what I mean by springing him forward, i.e. “Reaction time is a key concept. Fast reaction means the athlete gets their own energy back.”). And so, as I said:

    “The material comes back quickly enough to act like a springboard underfoot providing more energy return and assisting the athlete into the next stride,” he observes.

    So should all have the asterisk, so we don’t confuse one tool Bolt for four tool Jesse O.

    And the diff is 10.3 for Jesse without all that, and manly man, versus 9.58 and looking like the fella in drag in the Calypso Cabaret at the Asiatic in Bangkok for Bolt. And don’t ask how I know that last.

    Now on to Darius, from your last piece as well, in addition to the HOF should have a place wherein anyone who ever played gets a plaque. And so, to shorten yours, Nick’s would say, “He was a chucker”. But that’s not the scary part, as the scary part is what I perceive as the danger of the team signing chuckers because they’re fan favorites.

  57. Oldtimer,

    How can I not be depressed? I just read an article about Ryan Kelly where he was being praised as a player (go ahead, everyone has their favourites) and then proceeded to give us highlights of how good he is on offense and how good he is on defense. It was interesting except for the fact that most of the examples were actually bad defense in which the offensive player just missed the shot…

  58. Qwuor
    ? What ?

    I am all for unbridled optimism but “win it all” by signing Beasley. “Best bench in NBA”?

    There is a reason the guy is still unsigned. This team has more question marks then Obama Care. At best if Kobe stays healthy, Lin is great, Randle is rookie of the year and Scitt is coach of the century they might finish above. .500 and sneak into 8th.

    If your future is tied to Beasley, Henry and Young you have issues. History lesson on those guys might not show well.

    Let’s take baby steps and hope for 45 wins.

  59. 210 of ESPN’s B-ball experts vote on two Kobe Bryant questions:

    1) Where will Kobe finish on the all-time scoring list, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th?
    2) How many more times will Kobe make the playoffs, 0, 1, 2, or 3 times?

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/11350612/2014-nba-summer-forecast-kobe-bryant-scoring-record-chase

    Thoughts?

  60. Sid, my thought is that in all of creation 210 ESPN experts on basketball don’t exist.

  61. @ Anonymous, lol, how about this then, 210 ESPN B-ball professionals.

  62. “I honestly believe we can win it all, if beasley was running with lakers.”
    ——–

    Have you been partaking in Beasley’s well-documented form of relaxation?

  63. Paul George, who is changing his number to 13, has bought and donated all the 24 jerseys adidas had in stock (apparently there is an NBA rule that he has to buy them out) to his old high school in Palmdale:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2162562-paul-george-buys-out-no-24-merchandise-donates-it-to-his-high-school

  64. “1) Where will Kobe finish on the all-time scoring list, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th?
    2) How many more times will Kobe make the playoffs, 0, 1, 2, or 3 times?”

    Re 1):

    6,687
    5,228
    592

    That’s the distance from the top 3, respectively. Now, if we assume a somewhat reduced Kobe, say, 1750 a season, or 25 PPG over 70 games, he’d need:

    3.8 seasons
    2.987 seasons
    this season

    And if we lowered the points to 20 PPG over 70 games, so 1400 points per season:

    4.776 seasons
    3.734 seasons
    this season

    So, if Kobe stays healthy, so the 70 games per, he’s got a decent shot at NBA all-time scoring leader. And with the same assumption, more than 75% of the “summer panel” will be wrong, since if goes for 25 PPG over the next two, then it’s a third season and part of a fourth at 20 PPG to move past Malone.

    Why, by the way, I wanted the team to suck wind (protected top 5 pick) and have our consolation be Kobe’s assault on the top 3 all-time scorers. And, hey, MJ might have 6 but Kobe would have 5 + all time leading scorer. Then Kobe sweats out LeBron (to date, the PPG for Kobe is 25.5 and 27.5 for LeBron).

    Now lastly, and by the way, going back to that last piece one mo’ time, re the GOAT, depends on how you define it. If looking at the thing like singles tennis, then one thing, but if you were drafting a team…would seem to me that the Big O and Magic should be the first two off the board. And I’m taking Sabonis late for C. Not the NBA version, but the younger fellow in Europa. Oh, and I’d probably take Magic no. 1 in the draft and with Sabonis, Slappy’s Supremos would pass you all to death. No better passing big ever than Sabonis. And Walton would say (courtesy of Grantland):

    Walton first saw Sabonis as a 19-year-old in the European championships. “He probably had a quadruple-double at halftime, and his coach, Alexander Gomelsky, didn’t even start him in the second half,” Walton said in a telephone call. “We looked at each other, our jaws just dropping, and I said, ‘You might as well just rewrite the rules of basketball after watching him play for just the first half,’ the first time I ever saw him. When you think of the history of basketball, the rules were changed to make it harder for three guys: Russell, Wilt, and Kareem. All the other rules have been changed to make it easier.

    “He could do everything. He had the skills of Larry Bird and Pete Maravich. He had the athleticism of Kareem, and he could shoot the 3-point shot. He could pass and run the floor, dribble. We should have carried out a plan in the early 1980s to kidnap him and bring him back right then.”

    Oh, and when I say that Slappy’s Supremos will pass you all to death, I mean this:

    In a good 1986 story on Sabonis in The Atlantic, by Sam Toperoff, legendary basketball mind Pete Newell, then a Warriors scout, described one of these types of plays:

    I saw Sabonis make an unforgettable play last year in a tournament in Hiroshima, Japan. A rebound bounced high off the rim and over toward the corner. Sabonis went up for it way out there, took the ball in one hand and — still up in the air, off balance — swept the ball backhand, like a discus thrower in reverse, and hit a teammate in stride downcourt eighty-six feet away for an easy layup. I’d never seen a play like it.

    Sabonis is also the poster boy for coming back from injury, since in addition to any other injury, and there were other injuries, Sabonis is one up on Kobe, what with two achilles tendon ruptures. So Magic first pick of the first round and Sabonis late.

  65. we still have 2 slots for a 15 man roster, i’m hoping for deandre kane and okafor signing

  66. Jordan Crawford is seriously still unsigned? Why wouldn’t we grab him? We desperately need a back up pg. I’m not saying that Crawford can’t play but can we really go with a 2nd round pick rookie or Xavier Henry as our back up to Lin?

  67. @ Slappy, “Why, by the way, I wanted the team to suck wind (protected top 5 pick) and have our consolation be Kobe’s assault on the top 3 all-time scorers. And, hey, MJ might have 6 but Kobe would have 5 + all time leading scorer.”

    Just curious, would you consider yourself more of a Laker fan or Kobe fan?

  68. Clarkson is one spot bringing us to 14 and we would have 1 more open spot … im ok with clarkson being the 2nd backup im really not worried about him being the 3rd .. you should have watched summer league

    Okafor is expected to mis the first 3-4 months of the season because of his neck im guessing he will pick a team later if he is in fact healthy enough to play this year …his career might be done

    Im not sure if mitch will want to full up the last spot … they might keep the spot open for any potential trades during the year

    Surprised no one has written anyrhing about the schedule yet .. personally i am super excited to play houston first so that hopefully kobe can make a statement for 1st team nba over harden and we can show everyone that we will in fact be better than the rockets next year … and rub some salt into howards career since the rockets will be out of the playoffs for a few years

    we also get cleveland early which will just be fun to watch and less b2bs than last year

  69. @james

    I completely agree I think the front office did as well as they could and we do have a very deep roster with diveristy in positions mixed with proven veterans and kobe. I have hope for this team if not this year then next, they are one superstar away. KD? Can KD join our framily

  70. I also think the Lakers should start beasley if they sign him haha he’s had enough years in the league and playing with kobe he wouldn’t mess around as he showed with lebron and wade they really praised his professionalism in miami, Xavier Henry can play pg as he proved last year, so can kobe. Jordan Clarkson is good enough to eat minutes up at the back up spot he is a true professional. I think a lot of this year just depends on kobe and scott’s coaching and ability to keep the roster balanced and happy. We do have talent, we have youth and athletcisim, we have a couple of veterans who are playoff tested. I think the ceiling for this team is 6th place in the west potential first round upset only because of kobe and second round exit. We are one super star away and kobe’s contract running out and taking a huge pay cut from another run. What if KD and Marc Gasol come here in 2016 with kobe taking a pay cut, Pau coming back for a veterans minimum and them going for it haha

  71. chris j

    chauncey billups was written off for the first half of his career. Beasley is a top pick, extremely talented, he showed he can be professional. Adding a player like that in the right circumstances could be like adding an all star.

  72. Now lastly, and by the way, going back to that last piece one mo’ time, re the GOAT, depends on how you define it. If looking at the thing like singles tennis, then one thing, but if you were drafting a team…would seem to me that the Big O and Magic should be the first two off the board. And I’m taking Sabonis late for C. Not the NBA version, but the younger fellow in Europa. Oh, and I’d probably take Magic no. 1 in the draft and with Sabonis, Slappy’s Supremos would pass you all to death. No better passing big ever than Sabonis.

    Re: In his prime he was unguardable – imagine Nowitzki(had the same range and accuracy), but much stronger and better overall player -defense the main difference. So anybody saying Dirk is the best non US player ever is way wrong…they did not see other EU players in their prime!

  73. Awesome write up Slappy! Even the early NBA version of Sabonis was formidable. I recall hearing the stories about his prowess prior to coming to the NBA.

  74. bleedpurplegold August 15, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    @Ninjagorn:

    Sry but still Dirk over sabonis by a wide margin…..way better shooter plus most unguardable shot a man ever had not named kareem……great face-up game, member of 50-40-90 Club, top10 most scored points in the history of this league, 12th highest ppg, 1blk1stl a game, way underrated in d(shows up when it matters most), regular season and Finals MVP, NBA champ with an old, crappy team all by himself, silver medal European championship with freaking GRERMANY! AS well AS a 3rd place i think in the FIBA world cup, clutchest person this era not named Kobe….i could go on but i stop right here

    Sorry sabonis was great, just no match for a guy like dirk

    Greetings

  75. Sabonis could’ve been greater than Dirk if not for the injuries. However, the injuries did happen and we will never know what was his ceiling in the NBA…

  76. Sabonis could’ve been greater than Dirk if not for the injuries. However, the injuries did happen and we will never know what was his ceiling in the NBA…
    …..
    He is greater! He was past his prime when he came into the NBA(forget the injuries)! But he is not even the greatest EU player ever…

  77. Renato Afonso

    ” I just read an article about Ryan Kelly where he was being praised as a player (go ahead, everyone has their favourites) and then proceeded to give us highlights of how good he is on offense and how good he is on defense. It was interesting except for the fact that most of the examples were actually bad defense in which the offensive player just missed the shot”

    Ahh yes, I saw that article and lol’d for the same reason. Ryan Kelly is a project player who is worth keeping around because he might get better, but if he is played any significant minutes it’ll only be because the Lakers are in a position to keep their pick this year (bottom 5 of the league).

  78. Late response to the original article Darius, but I’m just curious why you slot Henry in as a SF and Young as a SG? If I were going to answer for you I’d say that Henry is a bit bulkier and is statistically a better defender.

    Watching the games I wouldn’t disagree that Henry is a slightly better defender, and certainly has much more upside. That said, I felt that Young was very much better as a defender than his reputation.

    Still, the real reason for my question is the fact that statistically, Young played the bulk of his minutes at SF last year, and achieved his best results there. The converse is true of Henry. Henry played the bulk of his minutes at the 2 and did his best work there (statistically).

    In fact, until folks started writing up hypothesized rosters for the Lakers this year, I’d always thought of Young as a SF and Henry as a SG.

    And looking up their stats Young mostly played SF last year, and his PER when he did so was 17.3, vs 14.3 when he played SG. His opponent PER in those positions was identical (13.2), which means his largest net statistical impact came when he was playing SF, though he was effective in both roles.

    In the case of Henry though the comparison is more stark. As a SG (where he played the bulk of his minutes) his PER was a decent 14.1 while his opponent PER was 13.3 giving him a NET of 0.8. As a SF though he was horribad, with a PER of 9.9 and an opponent PER of 14.7 for a NET of -4.7. Even Wesley Johnson was better at SF on a NET basis last year (-3.5).

    Bottom line, for my part I’d keep your roster, except switch Henry to being Kobe’s backup, and I’d start Wes Johnson (or some hypothetical future signing), and bring Young off of the bench to reprise his 6th man role from last year. I’d be very wary of playing Henry at the 3 until he shows some sign of actually being capable at that position.

    http://www.82games.com/1314/13LAL9.HTM
    http://www.82games.com/1314/13LAL7.HTM

  79. Thomas,
    Honestly, there’s little difference between SF and SG, so it really doesn’t matter is the short answer. In reality, Young can play in either spot, with or without Kobe, and I wouldn’t have many concerns. I do think Young is better suited coming off the bench, however. He and Kobe can work fine together offensively in my opinion, but I think Young’s game as an offensive spark is best served off the pine where he can help prop up the offense. Whether he enters the game for Kobe or for Henry/Johnson doesn’t much matter to me, honestly.

  80. Kobe is a better judge of talent than Lebron…. I’ll give him that. Not as good as me of course… But still better than Lebron. The Wiggins trade will be looked at the same way as the Kobe trade… team traded away a rookie superstar wing player for an established above average big man.

    http://www.slamonline.com/nba/kobe-bryant-andrew-wiggins-trade-cleveland-making-mistake/

  81. Wish I could have seen Sabonis play in his prime.
    When I did see him play in the NBA, he played a bit like a Marc Gasol. Big, strong, intelligent passer.
    When Laker opponents got into foul trouble we used to say, ‘The Lakers are in Sabonis!’

  82. Aaron: OK – I already have you employed on my team as the team trainer, however I will also name you to the scouting department. You will be better than any current Laker scouts as you will have at least received your job without being a Laker legend’s son, or by being an ex-race track buddy of the owner (I think that covers the bulk of the Laker’s scouts). As with the rest of the team, I promise not to meddle in your work, with the exception that you are forbidden from making any predictions – as your tack record there is not quite as good. Leave the predictions to me (Byron !!!).

  83. “Just curious, would you consider yourself more of a Laker fan or Kobe fan?”

    BCS, I’m more of a Lakers fan. As some have said long before me, the worst possible result is the team finishing in the middle and so a continued series of mid-round 1st rounders. Not a fan of Peeler and Lynch. And in today’s NBA, those two are far more likely than trading Vlade for Kobe.

    Not that the team even has a Vlade to trade for Kobe. Which is its own problem, by the way. As some have noted, not only is there no Vlade for Kobe, there’s isn’t a 90s like crew that might attract a Shaq. So just take the lumps and get the draft right. In the meantime, Kobe goes for the record. At least we have that and not just the lumps. To round it out, for what I see as the desperation, as someone else noted a while back about how quickly the expectations changed, and so was, not so long ago, title or bust, while now an improbable 8th seed is all sweetness and light. The other way of putting the matter is, simply, I don’t want the Lakers to be the Rockets, historically speaking.

  84. Slappy: Well said. In fact I wrote a post almost 3 years ago called “my nightmare”. In it, I described exactly where we are now. No hope for the team and just rooting for Kobe records. Of course, I will not take credit for that prediction. It was all predicated on us “not” getting DH. Little did I know, we would get him, then choose MD over Phil, and then lose DH. Well the end result was the same anyway. We root for Kobe. Which is one of the reasons I wanted Byron. Yes – I would love team success rather than just Kobe success, but that is just not attainable right now. However there is always hope. Part of my hope was fulfilled when MD left. The other part might be a little more difficult, but it will happen eventually. I will be waiting – impatiently of course, and KB’s quest for further greatness will be my entertainment in the interim.

  85. ok, i’ll express my muddy opinion again, just because that’s what everyone likes to do, over and over…

    this is reality. this is what the team is now. if you don’t like it, i understand, but it’s still too bad. find something to enjoy or stop calling this “your” team. better yet, pray a lot. it can’t hurt.
    the fact is there’s still a chance that things will go unbelievably well. of course it’s unlikely, but strange things happen all the time. feeling bad or complaining endlessly or being overly fearful will only make things worse. if you die, you die. nothing to worry about. sports is fun.

  86. chauncey billups was written off for the first half of his career. Beasley is a top pick, extremely talented, he showed he can be professional. Adding a player like that in the right circumstances could be like adding an all star.
    ————–
    Billups’ career didn’t get off to a hot start, but to suggest his circumstances were comparable to Beasley’s is asinine. Billups was a poor fit in Boston; Pitino wasn’t sure what to do with him as a one guard or a two, and the fans were never going to rally behind him because they were pissed they had to draft him and didn’t land Duncan. He had some injury problems in Denver, then turned his career around at 24 in Minnesota.

    Beasley is already 25, played only 55 games last season and averaged a career-low last season at just 7.9 points per game. Less than a year ago the Suns bought him out after Beasley was again busted for marijuana possession. There was also a sexual assault investigation with him while in Arizona. Go back further and read he was trouble in high school, on AAU teams, at K State and every NBA stop up until Miami last season. Is the fact that he managed to go one full year without getting caught at Tony Montana’s party pad reason for us to believe he’s suddenly learned to be professional? Come on.

    When the T-Wolves drafted Garnett, they quickly cut times with Isaiah Rider because they didn’t want his bad influence to rub off on the young KG. With a young guy like Randle in the fold, the Lakers would be foolish to expose him to someone like Beasley day in and day out.

    Beasley will never be an All-Star.

  87. Why not sign Beasley, Lamar Odom and Alan Iverson and change the name to the LA Bakers.

    Instead of bobble head give always you have bong nights.

    Wow the concession stands will be booming!

    Nah let’s pass on Beasley.

  88. No Beasley! Heck no!
    Why is this even being discussed?

  89. Sabonis was pretty amazing even in his late career. I would have loved to seen him play with healthy knees.

  90. That was an awesome clip of Magic’s highlights with Chick calling the plays as only he could. Thanks Darius. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8Qbo0WqvOI

  91. I love Chick’s play by play. Thanks for that link. That was great.

  92. Robert,
    What predictions have been wrong? My LBJ “prediction” wasn’t a prediction. I was just passing along information from someone very close to the Lakers who I trust and has been right very often in the past.

  93. When Sabonis was asked who his toughest matchup was in his career, he responded…Ralph Sampson. Not Shaq. Ralph Sampson.

    Go figure.

  94. Question: what is the “official” reason Clarkson hasn’t been signed yet?

  95. Sign Beasley now!!!!

  96. Gentlemen
    Beasley is being considered (hopefully) in spite of his penchant for imbibing because he was a #2 overall pick.
    He hasn’t performed to his potential, much like recent pickup Davis.
    If you think the NBA is full of squeaky clean young men who don’t smoke weed, you’re way off.
    Beasley just got caught a few times. Probably just indicates he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.

  97. *Probably just indicates he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.*

    yeah, that’s what makes people a little bit nervous about Beasley. you never know, he might get it together. i trust the FO to weigh the odds based on the person they see, rather than the one that’s been in public so far. i’m not hot for him, but i recognize that he has talent. he does seem to have the wrong kind of crazy sometimes…

  98. As it is, Jordan Clarkson remains the only guy I want signed. Beasley is too big a question mark and could very well lead to net negative considering everything.

    Scott mentions he wants a culture of defense, lets try to gravitate towards that.

  99. Great stats in this article…Shows you how important it is to be as light as possible. It also shows you that once one hits 29 years of age it’s downhill from there on out.

    The NBA’s Best Players Are Losing A Bunch Of Weight, And It’s All Because Of Kobe Bryant
    http://www.businessinsider.com/lebron-carmelo-lose-weight-2014-8

  100. Beasley appears to be a high reward low risk gamble. A possible all star caliber player who you can sign. If he falls to his inner demons you just give him the boot. It would be a shame if he couldn’t pull things together but I don’t think its a high risk move. I wouldn’t want a bunch of guys like this in my locker room but trying to mend 1 guy like this I don’t think is a bad gamble.

  101. Thanks for the memories, Baylor Fan! This is why I put Magic ahead of MJ (along with 2 other Lakers) in the “best player ever” discussion. This guy was filling up everybody else’s stat sheet on a nightly basis. A “bad night” for Earvin was 9 pts, 10 rebounds, 14 assists. Anybody who suggested a trade of Johnson for Jordan during the Showtime years would have been summarily lynched.

    The other 2 guys are Kareem and Wilt, because duh.

    Honorable mention to Jerry West, who is “the logo” for a reason, and Elgin, who invented “above the rim” which we now all take for granted.

  102. Oh… And btw… Michael Beasely isn’t good. Why are people here talking about him? What’s even more funny is people here think he is a talented player and a bad guy while in fact he isn’t talented but he is a good guy.

    From a basketball standpoint he is semi skilled but he doesn’t have enough athletisism to succeed in the NBA. At best he is an average NBA player.

  103. On Beasley: Aaron is actually pretty much on it. He is a good guy; well liked by teammates but undone by being a stoner and not particularly bright. On the court he is the dreaded tweener: not quick enough to guard wings, a bit too light to guard bigs. But I give him a higher ceiling than Aaron: he is a gifted scorer and can shoot, and he could develop into a very good stretch forward.

    Apparently the sticking point in signing him is a guaranteed deal.

  104. 210 ESPN professional basketball writer/commentators were asked: “Which team is headed for some unhappy times this season?”

    Our Summer Forecast rolls on with predictions for Team Turmoil — the squad that will have some unsettling experiences in the 2014-15 season as voted on by our ESPN Forecast team.

    Top five:

    1) Lakers
    2) Rockets
    3) Pacers
    4) Nets
    5) Knicks

    Thoughts?

  105. Guys at ESPN really hate Kobe and the Lakers! How can the Heat not even be on that list?

    Also, if those same guys are predicting 30 win for the Lakers, how can you also be team turmoil when the expectations are already so low??

  106. I don’t see any reason to sign Beasley, just as I didn’t see any reason to sign Boozer. Let Randle, Hill, Kelly, and Davis play, and pick up a deep bench 5 who can play a little D, to add to Sacre.

  107. And the Lakers have Henry, Johnson, Young and Kobe to play the 3.

  108. rr,
    There is a great reason to sign Boozer… He helps you lose and keep your draft pick. Beasely is just another below average SF and the Lakers already have a bunch of those.

  109. @Aaron

    I agree bro 110% … Bealsey is not wanted or needed.
    I do not trust him and we have young players on the roster so do you really want them influenced by Beasley? It is sad because Beasley is very talented but there is a disconnect there and I would need more demonstrated proof before I was convinced he has shaped up. If we feel the need for another player on the roster then there are some servicable vets out there I’m sure.

    Develop our young players, manage Kobe’s minutes and preserve his career a bit longer, get a top five pick and sign some key free agents next year. That should be our plan and it is the most logical move.

    Realistically, this roster will struggle to make the playoffs in the West. And even if we did by some heorics from Kobe I’m quite sure we know an early exit would be coming and you screw yourself out of a top 5 pick also. Those are issues that a team in contention would probably say ok we are willing to take that hit because we can “win now”. But the Lakers must naviagte this period carefully or possibly face a “Long Winter”.

  110. The pro-Beasley comments would have been more viable two years ago, when he got his fresh start and another chance in Phoenix, which bent over backwards to give the player a chance to turn it around. After he blew that, I see no reason to suggest he’s at the place where he deserves another “fresh start” in L.A.

    He was a high first round pick? Well so were Oden and Kwame Brown, or Adam Morrison or countless others. At some point they have to produce on the court or their draft status becomes just a bit of trivia.

  111. I had this dream today where I discussed Beasley with Mitch. and he was on board.

    Give him a deal!