Archives For

Since it was reported Brian Shaw would return to the Lakers as Luke Walton’s lead assistant, it has been pretty quiet on the “who will be on Luke Walton’s staff” front. No leaks of names who were shoe-ins, not even any hints at who might be under consideration.

That changed over the weekend when Dave Miller brought up a name I was unfamiliar with:

Continue Reading…

One of my favorite NBA podcasts out there is Nate Duncan’s “Dunc’d On”. Nate has good knowledge on the CBA, the draft, is good with X’s and O’s, and does a good job of conveying it all to the listener.

I was happy, then, to hear that he had covered Brandon Ingram and the Lakers in a recent sitdown with Real GM’s Danny Leroux. Their talk covered a lot of ground so I wanted to make sure you, our faithful readers, got a chance to listen to it:

Continue Reading…

The Warriors look to be well on their way to their 2nd NBA championship in as many seasons. Their combination of offensive firepower, excellent defense, positional versatility, and top level coaching are the marvel of the league and have teams scrambling to try and replicate a formula which may not even be replicable.

Roughly 30 years ago, the Lakers were a team very much like this season’s Warriors. If not so much in style, but in aesthetics. Explosive in the open court and precise in the half court, the Showtime Lakers ran roughshod over the league for an entire decade. They went to 8 Finals in the 1980’s and captured 5 titles in the process. I think teams would have tried to play like them, but it just didn’t even seem possible. No one had the horses.

These two teams are linked by the Thompson family. In the middle of the 1987 season, the Lakers traded for Mychal Thompson. The former 1978 #1 overall pick of the Trailblazers, Thompson was brought in to be the Lakers’ back up C and 3rd big man. Mychal did his job, helping the ’87 Lakers defeat the Celtics in the rubber match of their 3 NBA Finals match ups.

Mychal’s son, Klay, is now the starting SG for the Warriors. Drafted with the 11th pick in the 2011 draft, Klay has outperformed his draft slot and become one of the best two-way wings in the league. In a bit of a role reversal from his dad, Klay was famously not traded two seasons ago for Kevin Love. Now Klay’s Warrior’s are on the verge of beating Love’s Cavs in the Finals for the 2nd straight year.

So, the 2015 and 2016 Warriors are likely to be back to back champs. The 1987 and 1988 Lakers were back to back champs. In the post-game presser following the Warriors’ game 2 victory, Draymond Green was asked about where these Warriors ranked in the pantheon on all-time teams. Green, diplomatic, said we’d never know if his Dubs would beat teams like Jordan’s Bulls or the Showtime Lakers.

Klay, never shy of taking a shot, lined up his dad’s former team in his crosshairs and said with a smirk and a chuckle, “we’d beat the Showtime Lakers.”

Well, then.

I’ve always been of the same mindset Draymond has. The league has changed too much to compare players in ways beyond trivial barroom arguments. Forget, then, comparing entire teams. There’s simply no good way to do it.

If you think that’s going to stop me, though, you’re wrong. Thanks, Klay!

Continue Reading…

While we brought you the news back in May, USA Basketball has officially announced the US Select Team and it will include Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell. The two young Lakers join a mix of young NBA veterans and NCAA standouts to form the roster which will convene this summer in Las Vegas.

Being named to the select team is nice accomplishment, not only because it is recognition of the players’ status as up and coming talents, but also because it puts them into the pipeline of players who could end up being considered for roster spots on the senior team which will compete internationally at events like the Olympics and the World Championships.

Continue Reading…

The Lakers have already had a nice run to start their off-season. They kept their #2 overall draft pick, have a nearly wide open cap sheet, and hired Luke Walton as coach. There is a lot of reason for excitement.

To talk about that, and more, I joined Sam Vecenie of CBS Sports on his Game Theory podcast. We covered the draft, the team’s young players, trade options, what about Walton I am most intrigued about, and general roster construction. I even offered a bold prediction for the team’s off-season.

It was a good chat that you can listen to in full after the jump.

Continue Reading…

There is little draft intrigue for the Lakers this year. I suppose there could always be a surprise, but the odds are the Lakers will either select Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram, aka the guy the 76ers do not select #1 overall.

There will still be plenty to discuss about both prospects (and maybe a few others) in the lead up to the draft, though. Strengths, weaknesses, fit, etc, etc. We will cover all that in the next three weeks. On the Lakers end, this process has long ago begun. And it will continue this week when the team works out Brandon Ingram.

Continue Reading…

Welcome to a new off-season series focused on how players currently under contract with the Lakers can improve their games from last season to this one. Whether they are young players or veterans, there are always things that can be bettered withing the context of what the Lakers want to do on both sides of the ball. Our first installment is on Larry Nance Jr. 

For Larry Nance Jr. it did not take long for fans to go from “who is he?” on draft night to one of their favorite Lakers from this past season. From the highlight dunks to the hustle plays to his team first attitude, Nance has a lot of redeeming qualities that fans ate up. But with a higher profile comes higher expectations and fans will be looking for Nance to make positive strides in his second season.

And while Nance came into the league as a 22 year old (and will turn 24 next January), he still has areas in which he can grow. Some will point to his age as a negative in that regard, but the fact that he came to game late and did not develop physically until after his crohn’s disease was diagnosed in highschool, his age is not too much of a negative in my eyes. Still, though, the ability to develop — even at a more advanced age than most 2nd year players — doesn’t mean it will actually happen.

Continue Reading…

NBA fans love to play armchair GM. They have the ESPN Trade Checker bookmarked. They know the general workings of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. And they have ideas of fixed price points for players based on ideas of “value” and “worth”. This all fine and good. I think a more informed fan-base is a better fan-base. It makes for better, more nuanced conversation.

This summer, though, it’s better to forget some of what you think you know about player value. This summer, it simply doesn’t apply. I may have changed majors from Economics to History when I was in college, but I took enough of former to understand supply and demand and how market forces help determine pricing. And, this summer, with the NBA cap about to go up by $22 million, the concept of what a player is “worth” is going to change.

Continue Reading…