Detroit Pistons vs Los Angeles Lakers
Tue Mar 10, 10:30 PM EST – FSDT, TWSN
Line: DET -3.0, O/U: 202.5
Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA
The Lakers have lost 5 games in a row, the fourth time they have had a streak that long this season. Further, the team has two additional streaks of four consecutive losses. Add it all up and with only 20 games left in the season, the Lakers have a total of only 16 wins. Over this final stretch, then, the Lakers would have to go 11-9 to match last year’s win total. Call me a cynic, but I do not think they’ll get there.
Their opponent, meanwhile, is another one of those teams like the Lakers just faced on their east coast road trip. The Pistons are not currently a playoff team, but are fighting for the 8th seed with the Nets, Celtics, Heat trio. Detroit is currently 5 games back of the Hornets for that elusive playoff spot, but still have a chance in these last 20 games to get there should (many) things break their way. It is a longshot, but they will go down to the end trying.
Trying to help them down the stretch is recently acquired guard Reggie Jackson. The former Thunder player was sent to Detroit at the deadline in exchange for reserve guard DJ Agustin and small forward Kyle Singler. Jackson had been longing to get out of OKC where he, seemingly, felt he was being scapegoated for some of the team’s issues. OKC obliged knowing that, as a restricted free agent, keeping Jackson was going to be expensive.
Jackson has not been playing particularly great since going to Detroit, but has shown some flashes lately — especially in their last game where he scored 25 points to go with seven rebounds and seven assists. Even with that type of effort, however, his team lost — something that has been a trend since his arrival. After rattling off two straight wins following the trade deadline, the Pistons are losers of six in a row.
Tonight, then, something has to give. As noted above, the Pistons would still like to make a push to close the season to get close to making the playoffs. The Lakers, meanwhile, have been very close to wining some games lately but have faltered down the stretch. If I had to place a wager on which wins out tonight, I’d say the Lakers find a way to hold onto a game and end their streak. But Jackson and the Pistons’ big man duo of Monroe and Drummond will have something to say about that.
Where you can watch: 7:30pm start time on TWC Sportsnet. Also listen at ESPN Radio 710AM Los Angeles.
lil pau says
there’s a new laker in town. mercifully, it’s not rondo:
I’m glad this isn’t a OKC site or people would jump on me worse than for my opinions on Derek Fisher. The best kept secret in the NBA is that Westbrook isn’t as good this year as he was a few years ago before the knee surgeries. I had to get this out there it’s been killing me. Russell is putting up more gross stats because Durant has been out but he isn’t as good as he once was.
-My mainreason for watching tonight’s game will be Greg Monroe. If the best two bigs are off the board by the time the Lakers draft, I feei they should draft a pg (Russell or Mudiay) and make Monroe their #1 free agent target. I’m sure Monroe is aware of that strong possibilty, and I think it will be interesting to see how he handles it.
-Such a beautiful playoff postioning race going on in the West…could you imangine the energy on this board if our Lakers were a part of it?
– Hope the Jabari Brown 10 day contract is just the beginning of new personnel pasting thru. Won’t find any gems at this stage, but a semi precious stone…who knows.
@ Aaron: I know there has been talk of the Lakers targeting Westbrook, when he is a FA in 2017 (to pair with KD who is a FA in 2016). I’m already on record that the Lakers should be wary of KD as he is already showing signs of wear and tear.
I’m ready to do the same regarding Westbrook. While Russell will be only 28 when he hits the market, I have never seen a player that is as primed to hit the proverbial ‘wall’ as hard as he is. Westbrook plays full bore all the time. I can’t imagine his game, which is built on speed and power — aging gracefully.
I think the reoccurring theme we will see in NBA free agency is: buyer beware. Stars are coming into the league earlier and they are logging a lot of miles and minutes on their bodies at a younger age. The Lakers FO may have been lulled into thinking that all stars are like Kobe (and Nash) who was effective into his age 33 or 34 seasons. It’s true that Kobe and Nash are freaks but even they could not escape the relentless Father Time. The FO ended up paying dearly in learning this lesson by overpaying for the downside of their careers.
BCS: I too am looking forward to seeing Monroe play. I can see a number of scenarios where Monroe could be a target for the Lakers this off season. It’s rare that a near elite player hits un-restricted free agency as a 24 year old so it’s an opportunity to buy the upside of a talented player. That’s a novel idea that our FO should focus on going forward.
While we all can write Randle’s name into the lineup as our big forward for the next ten years we really don’t know how long it will take him to be a productive player. Or, what if team doctors fear he will be injury prone? In either scenario a case could be made to pursue Monroe.
However, you outline the most likely instance. If the Lakers pick comes after the top centers are off the board we’ll get a great young player for our back court. While Hill and Davis are nice players who can play center, in reality, they don’t provide the same production as Monroe.
Craig W. says
There are marketing reasons and basketball reasons for paying a player. Sometimes those factors work together and sometimes they do not, but they both influence what a player gets paid. Kobe’s contract was a marketing contract – for the most part. Fans are basketball fans, not marketing fans, and never admit that reasons beyond pure basketball ones even exist. Also, hindsight plays a vital part in many fans’ way of looking at things. Kobe is still a topic of conversation and just his presence at the last game was commented upon throughout the NBA. …nuff said about marketing reasons.
P.S. Kobe’s contract comes off the books as the tax level makes a real upward jump.
100 percent true. On a related note this is also why small town owners want the age limit. In a perfect world they would want the age limit to be 22. The only way they get superstar players is through the draft and they want that player from 22-29 and not 18-25 before leaving in FA the first chance they get.
And yes Wesbrook will not age well especially because he isn’t that magical 6-6 height. Durant will age well as long as his foot is okay. And im not hat worried about his foot. He is super skinny (not that much force on those feet). Once players get above 28 age is always an issue but I would bet on Durant’a feet over Westbrooks knees. But remember Durant needs his quickness too. That’s what allows him to play SF and shoot over smaller players.
Craig W. : I’m sure the Lakers will win the championship in Marketing (revenue) again this year. However, it seems the rest of the league still values those silly wins and loses. Per the ESPN article on Analytics (Baxter Holmes on 2/26/15) Holmes quoted an Analytics official for a competing team: “Extending Kobe was an unmitigated disaster,” the official said, “at least where winning basketball games is a concern.”
Jennings isn’t that great, but Detroit really misses him.
the other Stephen says
All these years we’ve had to endure Doc Rivers’ vexatious twattery, and now I get to hear someone call him “Glenn.” It’s perfect. I love these Warriors. 😀
Craig W. says
If you want to quote analytics experts to determine the best way to run a team – go right ahead. However, the successful GMs use analytics as a part of their analysis – not the majority of it. On top of that, ownership has to think of marketing as part of their brand. To dis marketing because of analytics is simply stupid business. If winning were everything, then the Spurs would be the equal of the Lakers in marketing and profit over the last 17 years. NOTE: they are not.
I am not discounting either analytics, nor winning – both are necessary. It is just the fan-base seems totally blind to anything but the players in front of them and what happened today. Clubs cannot approach the game that way – ask James Dolan how that has worked out.
Craig W. says
I do like the way this is a real team. The talent may not be there, but the players are playing for each other and working within the system Bryon Scott has outlined. Nothing original, but it is functional and all the players look the better for what is happening.
Quite possibly we will lose a couple of players we would like to keep because they are playing well together – just like what happened with Jodie Meeks last year. That may be the price of a functional system and coach – I’m coming around on Bryon Scott – but it does make the Lakers a more desirable place to sign. The players now on the team need to consider the environment when making their decision about where to go.
I want to keep Ellington, Davis, and perhaps Lin. Others I want to see more of between now and the end of the season.
Can’t fault the coach on this one. Scott had the right closing unit in. The Lakers won anyways. Coaches can only do so much.
bryan S. says
Unrealistic to lose to such a sorry team–sorry fellow tankers. Van Gundy the GM made a terrible deal with OKC; sending DJ Augustin and Kyle Singlar for Reggie Jackson. They gone downhill since. I think Monroe walks to a team where he can be in the low post as a starter. Very skilled big who is made for a motion offense. Not a rim protector but can play team defense. Has DeMarcus Cousins-like skill set. Great get if the Lakers pull it off.
Clarkson’s long ball off, but his passing skills are better by the game. Fought over screens better too. Solid D.
From the KBros Facebook page:
41 mins · Edited ·
Most interesting revelation from Kobe’s press conference Tuesday…
He was asked about what he thinks next year might look like, in terms of playing time, offensive burden, and all that. He deflected, but with good reason. The shoulder, he noted, was an old injury, not rooted in all the minutes Byron Scott put on his back this year.
“I guess what I’m saying is that after playing so many years, I could play 10 minutes and hurt some other shit. You know what I mean? At this stage, all I can do is just try to do whatever I can to try and be as healthy as possible, then if something’s going to go, it goes. Father Time got me. There’s nothing else I can do about it,” Bryant said.
I asked him how hard it is to accept that reality, especially considering how little time he missed in the eight seasons before the Achilles tear.
“It’s very difficult. You start trying to gauge the importance of a Monday workout. Or a Wednesday workout. How really important is it, because I could do all this stuff and then next year in one minute — snaps — it’s all gone.”
And he’s right. Kobe can be protected to some degree with minutes restrictions and targeted rest, along with a better supporting cast to take some offensive burden away. But he knows there’s a good chance his body won’t cooperate next season no matter how conservatively the Lakers use him. That all the work he’s putting in could prove totally useless. That’s a tough mental burden to carry. To hear him speak openly about not just the injury risk but the way it serves as a slow, constant assault on his work ethic and drive, even if only for a moment, is fascinating.
Chris J says
They so better lose to the Knicks… I know some hate this lose to win mentality, but meaningless Ws in a lost season can have huge ramifications come June and the draft. If they lose their high pick to Phoenix, I see little reason to expect next year will be much better than the current and prior season.
Watching Randle and Clarkson play more will be the only upside, but that isn’t enough for me. Even a healthy Kobe — if there is such a thing — won’t make up for another year’s setback.
thanks for the post rr; sobering to be sure; nice reporting here:
¨That’s a tough mental burden to carry. To hear him speak openly about not just the injury risk but the way it serves as a slow, constant assault on his work ethic and drive, even if only for a moment, is fascinating.¨
If they lose their high pick to Phoenix, I see little reason to expect next year will be much better than the current and prior season.
Agreed to some extent; however, the high pick´ll need time to grow – the roster won´t be that different, a few wrinkles here & there i suppose; & with Randle back &, hopefully, Mamba being able to play throughout the season, some of our young fellas having logged PT this year thus, again hopefully, making them more solid on the hardwood, we may, what?, struggle to be a # 9 or 10 seed come playoff time? A step up to be sure…but despite what the tank-first fans have deemed all season long as the holy grail (a top pick! a top pick! let´s enjoy this sh–ty, third-rate record everyone!), IMO the near future seems like it´ll be quite similar to what we´re seeing now.
[i apologize for the pessimism]
Craig W. The purpose of my referencing that quote from the Analytics article was in response to your statement that sometimes teams sign players for Basketball reasons and sometimes for Marketing reasons. I believe you were positioning Kobe’s signing as a Marketing move.
The quote I referenced supported your argument. I would have thought you’d be pleased that a knowledgeable basketball insider agreed with you – signing Kobe was not about Basketball (ie: winning): “Extending Kobe was an unmitigated disaster,” the official said, “at least where winning basketball games is a concern.”
rr: It has been such a blessing to have Kobe as a Laker. But, as so many have noted on this board – you can’t outrun Father Time. Heartbreaking in a way to hear Kobe talk about his playing mortality.
It’s clear that whatever Kobe gives the team next year should be viewed as a bonus. The FO can’t at this point count on him to be healthy let alone produce significantly on the court.
I wonder if Mitch’s comments a few weeks back about focusing on the long term as opposed to pushing for wins next year was based upon Kobe’s tipping his hand regarding his own doubts about staying healthy. In a way Kobe’s comments are liberating for the franchise. I would hope that Kobe going public like this cements the need to acquire younger talent with longer windows as opposed to older players with finite ones.
“On a related note this is also why small town owners want the age limit. In a perfect world they would want the age limit to be 22. The only way they get superstar players is through the draft and they want that player from 22-29 and not 18-25 before leaving in FA the first chance they get.”
It seems even under the current system players tend to be near the end of their productive playing years by the time they become unrestricted free agents even with age limits as they are. Very insightful point you made.
At this point in time, I’m just grateful for whatever Kobe can provide next season. It’s becoming all too easy for folks to marginalize his career and point to his current contract as an “unmitigated disaster” as was quoted earlier on this thread. Kobe Bryant has lived up to and far exceeded his potential. From a high school early entrant to a multitime All Star and All NBA selection to a 5 time NBA champion as a major contributor to a two time Olympic gold medalist. Kobe has done it all. He hasn’t left any in the chamber.
I hope the final part of his career will help the Lakers transition from his era to the next phase of team history. Nothing lasts forever and eventually, all the great ones move on. We Laker fans have been blessed to have so many great players wear the uniform. Kobe has worn his well.
Chris J says
PurpleBlood — to be clear, I do not expect a playoff run next season even if the Lakers land the No. 1 pick come June. To me, the real hope from keeping a high pick is that with said player in the fold, next season would at least give fans the chance to see three younger guys who offer some glimpse of hope going forward. With Randle’s injury, the only peek into the future we have had this season has been the development of Clarkson.
I respect the contributions made by Ellington and Boozer and Lin and the like this season. They’ve behaved as pros should. But none of those guys give me any excitement going forward, and losing the pick to Phoenix would seemingly prolong the rebuild by another season. That was my point.
Kobe: Extending him was NOT an unmitigated disaster. In fact, I would love to see a miracle where he plays 82 games next year and gets extended again for a 22 year career! That said: Extending him for 2 years at $48 million was an unmitigated disaster. Had we extended him for $10 million per we would have achieved the same marketing, the same loyalty, and Kobe would still be making his occasional complaints about the roster around him. We would just have $14 million more to spend on it. And for those who often say that the FO dos not have flexibility and that is why they do not make trades: Adding $14 million in cap space adds flexibility. For example we could take a salary dump and a draft pick.
T. Rogers says
I’m noticing what you have and Aaron have pointed out as well. Its why I think teams will start throwing bigger money at RFA’s. With the game being more perimeter oriented good perimeter guys are in high demand. However, they burn out faster than big men. As great as Westbrook is now what will he look like at 30 when you consider his playing style, knee issues, etc? Would it be better to take a chance on him when you can “overpay” for a younger perimeter player who is restricted? Of course there is no guarantee as their team could match. But if the price is high enough there are teams who will back down on paying up. OKC proved this when they traded Harden.
If the age limit is increased, even by a year, I can see this becoming the norm. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mitch and Jim are sitting back looking at which young stars they can poach from other teams. Because waiting for them to hit unrestricted free agency is waiting for them to be nearly out of their prime. Of course, as you two noted that is the intention.
Robert: You are correct regarding Kobe’s extension. Had it been at say $10 million annually his injuries/not playing would have hurt but not paralyzed the franchise. Unfortunately, the dollars are now synonymous so when folks criticize the extension I think they are really criticizing the crippling monetary aspect of it.
Calvin Chang says
One thing Jeremy learned in Houston is how to flop like James Harden. He can’t finish half as good as Harden, but going full speed into your opponent’s space to initiate contact, scream and flop must be frustrating for the defender. Clarkson must learn this art and take it further because he’s faster and frail like Reggie Miller. Go full speed, then flop like a deck of cards at first contact. Clarkson’s FT form is better than Lin so JC can get easy points from learning to flop.
Calvin Chang says
When this season started and Aaron was saying the FO and Byron were tanking, I did not believe it. As the losses piled up, I thought Byron was just a bad coach. But now that it is clear they were trying to lose on purpose, Byron’s actually good. From his press conferences, it really seemed like he intended to win. If he planned to lose all along, then he’s a great coach and potentially poker champion. My worry is if he did not really intend to tank until after the all star break. That means something else.
@Robert….My thoughts always come back to the inequity that the salary cap inflicts on teams with aging superstars. And while I am cognizant of the fact the the current CBA is the reality that teams have to deal with for the present, I still feel that it is an agreement that is poorly conceived from the players’ perspective and one that will trigger a work stoppage down the road.
Players like Duncan & Nowitski are put on some sort of pedestal for taking less money to ” help their teams.” Kobe took less than max money when he was extended and is characterized by many (not you) as doing something wrong. For me it’s a case of not hating the player, but hating the game. The NBA has created a scenario that overtly favors management; one which discounts how much veteran players like Kobe, Duncan and Nowitski have increased the international popularity and earning power the league enjoys. I’m not suggesting that any of these players are poverty cases, far from it, but rather that they are all underpaid in a sense. I think with Chris Paul and LeBron as union heads, the players association is girding its loins for a major fight come next CBA negotiation. One can foresee some major difficulties in coming to a new agreement.
In what world does Kobe sign for 10 million a year? Wow!
LKK: I agree that the next CBA is going to move significantly towards the players. That said you need to pay people what they are worth under the existing CBA. I do not really think Duncan and Dirk left too much money on the table. In other words, was someone else going to pay them tons more? And in KB’s case (keep in mind my feelings about KB), there was no way he was getting more than 10-12 from another team (remember he was already hurt when he signed the extension). So it is a market. As a FO you can’t pay more than market price. Ironically many FO defenders frequently quote business acumen. Well – you do not overpay for your labor force. You make yourself non-competitive (literally in this case).
Anonymous: In what world does Kobe sign for 10 million a year? Wow!
Clearly not the same world that Duncan and Nowitzki signed their team friendly contracts.
In no world where the NBA has a monopolly will there be a player friendly CBA. The players have no orher league to play in. They have no leverage. The players have a few years to make all their money. The owners are billionaires who can wait years during a lockout/strike for the players to cave.
In a hard cap league the cost of players is critical. The amount Kobe was paid matters because the FO was not willing to spend any of the balance of available cap space to improve the talent level of the team. Preferring to hold it open for a potential elite FA. This combination essentially guaranteed a difficult season even with a healthy Kobe. Absent Kobe, well this is what you get.
The argument that Kobe was extended because it made marketing sense is interesting because it did not make basketball sense (at least at that cost). I guess it worked from the marketing perspective, as the Buss kids still made $100 million last year. It does open the door, however, to question what motivates ownership – cash flow or winning?
It will be interesting to see what the Lakers revenues are this year when it is acknowledged that ratings and attendance have dipped as a result of the poor performance on the floor.
Speaking of salary caps and revenue sharing in our socialist sporting country… This snipit from ESPNFC Illustrates why such communist principals hurt sports leagues. This British writer takes on those same problems with the American “soccer” league…
“Yet the very same structures (franchise model) serve to limit MLS’s growth: with just three designated players and a limited salary cap, it is hard to build a truly competitive squad. With most of any transfer fee kept by the league, there is no incentive to develop youth players. With so much revenue shared, it is hard to see either how investors make their money back or why they would try to make their clubs anything other than as good as everyone else. The system fails to encourage excellence.”
Regarding Jordan Clarkson, if the bigs are gone and the Lakers choose either Russell or Mudiay, I’m hoping Clarkson is the clear cut back-up. That will only speak to how good one of the rookies will be. How great will it be to have a young solid pg position locked up for the foreseeable future?
Does anyone have a report on Randle? Is he starting his rehab? Is he given a green light that he’ll be OK or are there lingering concerns about his leg or feet?
Chris J – thanks for getting back & clarifying; fyi: i liked your 1st post – my comment wasn´t a jab at your stance on the matter at all…just a moment of pessimism on my part
Craig W. says
I guess I didn’t read that into the comment. The reason may be that I don’t think it was such a basketball disaster either. In hindsight it was bad, but having Kobe on the team draws interest – even basketball interest. From a cap standpoint, I really don’t see the Lakers being hampered in any way – maybe in not being able to offer two max contracts, but I don’t think two max contracts is the way to improve either. The cap will take a really big jump and the Lakers will have all the room they need. I just don’t see players I want to pay max to – either last summer or this summer. If we do max a player I hope it will be a forward-looking plan, rather than a Rondo-like signing.
ESPN reporting that the NBA Players Association has rejected a “Cap-smoothing” implementation of the huge TV deal. Instead the cap will go from a projected $66 million next year to between $88 – 92 million in 2016/17.
Per Brian Windhorst, it could mean the following this off season: “There may be some free agents this summer who only accept one-year contracts so they can retest the market in 2016, when it will be awash with available cash.”
What do folks think this means for any Lakers targets this summer (Monroe, Harris, Middleton, etc)? Might they stay with their respective teams and wait for a bigger payday as well as a new team next summer?
Without a significant FA acquisition (even with a top draft pick and a healthy Randle) the Lakers may struggle again (ie: finish 10th or worse in the conference).
In hindsight it was bad,
Most people opposed the deal the day that it was signed. This isn’t and wasn’t difficult or complex; the guy was entering his age-36 season, coming off a major injury, had not shown that he could stay on the floor, and had huge mileage on his body, as he himself said. The odds were always very much against it working out on the floor. That was very clear at the time, and it has gone about like I and many others expected that it would.
Off the floor, yes, I am sure KB’s presence sold some tickets and drew some eyeballs, and, yes, the media will always publicize anything he says or does. But the Lakers are very bad and except for (arguably) Clarkson, have no particularly interesting players. If Kobe were playing 2/3 of the games and doling out dimes, that would bring in a few more viewers, but the team would still be very bad, and there would be daily arguments about Kobe vs. Tanking since everybody knows the main issue is the draft and that the roster is terrible. That would still be the case if Kobe were playing.
As to the size of the deal, that is simple too. Kobe wanted to go out as the NBA’s highest-paid player; he makes 100K more than Amar’e Stoudemire right now and will make 100K more than Joe Johnson in 2015-16. I don’t blame him for wanting that, and I don’t entirely blame the FO for wanting to give it to him. But I did, and do, blame them for giving that to him for two years. There is no solid defense for that decision. The only conceivable angles are:
a) It sets up Jim Buss’ Magical Mystery Free Agent Tour in July 2016–as Jim himself has implied in the media more than once.
b) It sends a message to future FAs that the Lakers take care of their stars, etc.
Neither argument works very well and the second one is highly speculative. The Lakers could still have a ton of cap space in 2016 if they had given KB less money or no second year, and the recent history of FA shows that top-tier guys want to be on teams that are set up to win immediately. I don’t think that Durant or Davis or whomever will be swayed by the contract the Lakers FO gave Kobe; you could, in fact, argue that it will have the opposite effect in that the deal will indicate to them and their reps that the Lakers FO doesn’t know how to make good decisions.
All that said, we will see. Maybe Buss and Mitch can pull this off and it will all work out. But right now, I doubt it.
Good post. I think guys like Monroe and Middleton will still take big offers if they are there, from the Lakers or other teams. I think it mostly means that we will see LeBron James and maybe a few other guys, like Aldridge, back on the market in 2016.
I also think that Jim Buss thinks that an increased cap is a big trump card for the Lakers and buys into the idea that has been floated (mostly by ESPN that I have seen) that the Lakers can make some gigantic franchise-changing multiple FA score if they enter the market with a lot of cap space and a cap between ~85-90M.
The Dane says
Kobe is still the most trending NBA name according to NBA.com today… so he does bring a lot of spotlight to the Lakers.
A cap north of the 90mil mark?!? it would be stupid to get a monroe or someone else for max dollars, when you can have the likes of KD, noah, horford, drummond (RFA), conley, whiteside, AD, beal and lillard (RFA) as well as some role players like mayo or jamal crawford
Craig W. says
Everyone will have a lot to spend in 2016; how they will spend it is the question.
Interesting that Kobe’s deal comes off the books then and that his name still dominates the league until then.
I have confidence that our front office knows what they are doing. I still want to build something and not just construct an edifice for show. Yeah, I know, the Kobe contract was just that sort of edifice, but it also served to tell others we were willing to take care of our stars when others were pulling a James Harden.
Noah is already 30 and has been working for years in the Tom Thibodeau Basketball Factory. Horford and Conley will be at 30 or pushing it by the time they hit FA, and there is basically no chance that Portland and Detroit won’t match any offer on Lillard and Drummond. People aren’t talking about Monroe because we think he is awesome or great; he’s neither. We are talking about him because he is young, durable (so far), good, big, and available.
Anthony Davis, of course, is a different situation altogether, and is likely to trigger the craziest bidding war in the relatively short history of NBA free agency.
Lots of posters, including me, have pointed out that teams, players, and agents are still adjusting to the dynamics of the new CBA and that the new TV deal will provide an added twist. Todd’s post really adds to that and reinforces why LeBron did what he did this past year.
I personally don’t think there is one “correct” model to follow to achieve success. Instead, as with most things, there are variations on the “Goldilocks” solution, depending on where a team is in its trajectory. The key to me is for an FO to understand where it wants to get next year, in three years, five years, etc and then have the information and flexibility to adjust as necessary. Cap space, big name FAs, or multiple draft picks don’t, in themselves, guarantee a championship; its the use of those assets in the context of everything else on a team and how it fits together. And then, of course, picking the right person to lead that team through the season.
Unfortunately this year, seems like a lot of the conversation has covered the same ground. Darius must be bored to death reading these posts…
Completely different topic — I read a story today projecting UCLA freshman Kevon Looney as a potential lottery pick. Any of the smart people here agree? Thoughts on why/why not and whether or not he would be a good fit for the Lakers?
bleedpurplegold: A cap north of the 90mil mark?!? it would be stupid to get a monroe or someone else for max dollars, when you can have the likes of KD, noah, horford, drummond (RFA), conley, whiteside, AD, beal and lillard (RFA) as well as some role players like mayo or jamal crawford
1) Greg Monroe hits un restricted free agency as a 24 year old. He is near elite and can play the Four or the Five. Max or near max dollars is not a stretch. I like his game a lot and the reality is it’s a rare opportunity to have the chance to actually pay for the upside of a very good free agent.
2) KD hits unrestricted free agency next summer and will be 28. While his body of work up to this point has been hall of fame worthy he has not played a lot this year due to foot issues. I would be very concerned about the wear and tear on him before inking him to a long term max deal.
3) Noah won’t hit the market until he is 32 years old in the summer of 2017.. He’ll want a four year max deal. In my mind he’s far too old and we’d be buying the downside of his career.
4) Horoford will be 31 when he hits the market in the summer of 2017. Same issues as with Noah: Age, mileage and dollars. Pass
5) Drummond will hit the market in the summer of 2018 at the earliest. He’d be 25 at the time. Certainly if the Lakers need a Center he’d be a nice target. It’s doubtful he becomes a free agent though — if the Pistons lose Monroe they won’t pull a Jim Buss and let Drummond go as well (referring to the Lakers letting Howard and Pau walk for nothing).
6) Conley will hit the market as a free agent in the summer of 2017 when he is 30. While a nice player he also is at the same position as Clarkson who in my estimation is better. Age mileage and money make Conley a bad fit.
7) Whiteside hits the market in the summer of 2017 as a 27 year old. While he is having a nice year we are all drooling over a very small sample size of games this season. He was horrible in Sacramento. Let’s see if he can play at this level over an 82 game season next year before targeting him for a max deal.
8) AD is already being touted as the best player in the game. He won’t hit the market until the summer of 2018, as a 25 year old, at the earliest. Obviously if he continues his trajectory and indeed hits the market the Lakers would be interested.
9) Beal hits the market at the earliest in the summer of 2018 as a 28 year old. He’s a decent player – slightly undersized at his SG position. Again, as a 28 year old a max deal keeps him under contract through his age 32 season is that a move the Lakers need to make when the decision comes three years from now?
10) Lillard hits free agency in the summer of 2018 at the earliest. He is the closest thing to Russell Westbrook in the league. However, he will be 28 years old…while that isn’t a bad thing you have to factor in if he’s peaked or not. I’m not convinced that players like Westbrook and Lillard, who play so hard and rely on speed/strength, age gracefully or just hit a wall.
11) Mayo hits the market as a 30 year old in the summer of 2017. Pass.
12) Crawford hits the market in the summer of 2017 as a 37 year old. Pass.
I carry an extra heavy burden of being not only a Lakers fan but a long time follower of the perennially under achieving UCLA Bruins basketball team. Kevin Looney is a great player. He’s 6’ 9” about 220. He can play either forward position. Although he played the Four in college he will likely be a SF in the NBA. He is long and quick enough to guard the position and currently has a jumper to the college three.
There has been talk about him being the next KD and while that may be pre-mature he’d be a heck of a get in the draft. His numbers were well above average in college and would have been much better if the Bruins had a real point guard to pass him the ball. He was by far UCLA’s best player but did not get the touches or number of shots you’d expect.
If the Lakers had two lottery picks one in the top 5 and the other 6 – 10 I’d have no problem taking him with my second pick. In fact I was talking with a friend who suggested that if the Lakers draft Towns as their center they could sign Monroe as their Four and trade Randle to get a chance to draft Looney who would play SF. Towns, Monroe and Looney gives the Lakers a young talented front line with length and good size for the next 5-7 years. Obviously, the unknown in that scenario is Randle. We don’t know what we have with him — can he stay healthy and whether he projects to be an All Star or not.
1) monroe near elite??? Not so long ago people here said they would prefer hill over him….now he is elite?!? A guy who cant guard anyone is not someone i would consider elite….he has some offensive skills, but he is far from being worth the dollars he wants….
2) KD averages 27,6 and 7 on a bad foot this year…about his health concerns: no major issues so no problem
3) i understand the concerns regarding him playing for thibs, but he can anchor a defense and is available per espn.com(http://m.espn.go.com/nba/story?storyId=11377133&src=desktop)
I wouldnt give him the max, but 30mil for 3yrs is reasonable….plus he is definately a better option than monroe
4) see above
6) to call clarkson better than a top10 point in the game already is naive….he has had a few good games on a bad team, but nowhere near conley….see link….he will be available
7) if i remember correctly, whiteside has a team option for the next year only….i agree that we have to see more from him, but if he keeps it up, we should consider signing him
8) wrong, ad gets available
Pelicans star forward Anthony Davis is signed through 2016. The Pelicans can extend Davis a $9.1 million qualifying offer before the 2016-17 season. (See link)
They have recentley exercised their option for next year, not the next 3…beal could be a steal….
10) see #9
11+12) also wrong, but i would also pass on crawford, just namedropping here