Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Lakers
Sun Apr 12, 9:30 PM EST – NBAt, FSSW
Line: DAL -5.5, O/U: 204.5
Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA
There’s only three games left. Two of those will be a home and home against the Kings — a team that is, like the Lakers, playing out the stretch — and the other is tonight’s match up against the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs are playoff bound, locked into the 7th seed and waiting to see who will emerge from the tie-break hell that is the chase for the West’s 2nd seed. We know that it will either be the Grizzlies, Spurs, Rockets, or Clippers. For the Lakers’ sake, the hope is that it’s not the Rockets (hello draft pick from the Jeremy Lin trade), but beyond that, I do not think anyone associated with the Lakers cares.
If you’re looking for another Lakers-centric theme to this game, look no further then their starting point guard. Rajon Rondo is an unrestricted free agent this summer and, as there have been all season, the rumors are there that he will be a target for the Lakers. I have not written much on this, but I would not be a fan of that move. I’ll have more to say at a later date, but I’m not convinced Rondo is going to be worth his salary demands — especially in a league that has moved almost entirely towards prioritizing shooting from all positions, but point guard especially.
That isn’t to say that Rondo is without appeal. In a recent profile from ESPN’s Baxter Holmes, Rondo’s combination of quirkiness, extreme intelligence, and competitiveness was detailed:
At shootarounds and practices in Boston, Rivers says, Rondo would become “very irritated” when they had to go over plays again and again, even for veterans. For Rondo, learning plays came as naturally as math. Teammates and coaches would universally claim that Rondo has some sort of photographic memory — he doesn’t deny it — and former Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau, now head coach of the Bulls, says that by the time they’d watch game film the morning after, Rondo had already reviewed the footage two or three times. (“He doesn’t sleep,” Doo says.) The Celtics considered him a pseudo-advance scout, listening and looking for cues from the opponent, then calling out exactly what they were about to do.
Before Rondo’s first playoff series against Atlanta in 2008, the Celtics distributed a 100-page book full of the Hawks’ plays and statistics. Rondo took it home, then challenged assistant Darren Erman the next morning: “Quiz me on anything.” Rondo nailed every question, until Erman tossed a curveball — a question about something that wasn’t in the book. “Fuck you,” Rondo said. “That’s not in there.” Once, when Erman was with the Warriors, his team ran a side out-of-bounds play, called C, that he says they’d run maybe 15 times all season. They called the play. Rondo immediately shouted, “C! Rip screen, rip screen!” Erman and then-Warriors assistant Brian Scalabrine looked at each other, stunned: How in the hell did he know that?
A second coach on the court. An advance scout in the locker room. What could possibly go wrong? “You’ve got to have your shit together,” Garnett says. “Rondo would be like, ‘Nah, Thibs, that ain’t what this is called. It’s called this.’ Thibs would look down at his little sheet and be like, ‘Oh yeah, it is.’ ” In time, Rivers even allowed Rondo to call games like a catcher in baseball, providing a list of five or six plays Rivers wanted him to run that day. “I’ve never had to do that before,” Rivers says, “but it was awesome.” Rondo would study the sheet before games and during timeouts, placing it on the floor between his feet. Even then, Rivers says, after he was given all that freedom … he’d still deviate.
“He’s a contrarian. I figured that out early. He’d ask, ‘Well why wouldn’t we do it this way?’ Sometimes I’d answer, ‘Well, which way do you want to do it?’ He’d say, ‘No, I like the way we’re doing it, I’m just asking.’ That’s a Rondo.”
— Doc Rivers
Yes, the holes in his game are real, but what is described above are things that coaches will value. I know for a fact that Byron Scott will value them. It’s been well documented that Kobe Bryant already does. Whether that leads Rondo to Los Angeles this summer remains to be seen. But, it is something that, regardless of how much one would disagree with it, remains a possibility.
Of course, one of the reasons many who cheer for the Lakers would be against it is the presence of Jordan Clarkson. March’s NBA Rookie of the Month winner is a strong candidate to make 1st Team All-Rookie and looks as though he has the physical tools, smarts, and work ethic to continue to improve. Considering his cheap contract (for at least one more season) and the need for him to have minutes in games to continue to grow, the better long play would be to spend money on other positions and let Clarkson develop further.
Tonight, then, gives fans a chance to see these two go head to head. That match up along should be enough to tune into this game. In fact, it will have to be considering there’s really not much intrigue to this game beyond that. Sure, seeing if Ryan Kelly can keep up some of the momentum from his last game is something I’m interested in. I also want to see how Tarik Black does against Tyson Chandler on both ends of the floor and whether Jabari Brown can somewhat keep up with Monta Ellis. But, ultimately, Clarkson versus Rondo is what I’m looking forward to most. Hopefully it delivers.
Where you can watch: 6:30pm start time on TWC Sportsnet and NBA TV. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM Los Angeles.
This isn’t lakers exceptionalism as you call it. Its capitalism. People like money. People go where they can win and make the most money. The more fans you have the more money you make. It’s that simple.
As I’ve said I’m all for not tanking next year if you can get a good player. Kawai Leanard is the only good young player on the market. Monroe is an above average starting PF who can’t stretch the floor. No thank you.
You can’t force developing a team. If there isn’t a good player available you shouldn’t sign someone and pretend he is good. I mean you can but than you call yourself the Knicks. Building a team is like hitting in baseball. You keep taking balls until you get a pitch you can hit over the plate. If nobody is throwing strikes you just keep taking walks. Yes it would be nice to sign a player (Leanard) for the cheaper max but if one isn’t available you don’t sign average starters for max dollars. That isn’t a bargain. That’s like the fools who fall for the “half off” sales trick. You want to spend 20 dollars for a five dollar hat because it was once forty dollars? Be my guest.
Craig W. says
Darius, I believe the Clippers finishing position determines whether or not we get the late 2nd round pick – not the Rockets. The conditions were placed on the pick in the original trade and the Lakers inherited those. It is the Clippers we should be pulling for to finish with the 6th best record, and no higher. Come on and lose Clips.
Craig W. says
Players sign for complex reasons, but usually are just put down to money, because that is the effective result. IMO, saying that James or Anthony rejecting any Laker offer proves that the Lakers have lost their luster would seem to be a bogus argument. That doesn’t mean that the last few years haven’t impacted the Lakers’ image, but I don’t believe they have destroyed it. The options available to players in Los Angeles – particularly with the Lakers – are still measurably greater than they are in other cities. We can argue about how much this counts, but it does count.
IMO, the Lakers simply can’t decide to tank next year. Look for some FA signings we might not like, if we are lagging in the talent department. I do like the idea of offering Rondo $24M for 2 yrs and planing to play him 24-30 minutes a game – with Clarkson backing up both Rondo and Kobe. He would still get a lot of minutes and with players he could learn quickly from. That is where Rondo’s smarts might help a quick learner like Clarkson.
I also agree with Darius that if we are going to overspend, this is the summer to do so – not next summer when everyone will be using that strategy. Perhaps we overpay for some more middle-of-the-road players, but we could get them on shorter contracts and fill in for the draft picks we won’t have over the next couple of years.
Point: This, like NY, is a more difficult market to force-feed rookies in. The media and fan pressure makes it a real pressure-cooker.
Darius Soriano says
I mean the pick the Rockets owe the Lakers in the Lin trade. The further down the standings they finish, the better for the Lakers.
This isn’t lakers exceptionalism as you call it. Its capitalism.
Then I guess LeBron James and Dwight Howard are Socialists. Each of these guys who is going to get max money basically anywhere is going to do what he thinks is best for him, based on a combination of factors. Understanding that is actually the simple part. If there is a common denominator, I would guess that it is wanting to win, even though Carmelo Anthony stayed with the Knicks for the money, for Phil, and because he likes New York. Even if we accept your premise about the commercial benefits of being a Laker, not all of these guys are going to care about how many fans they have in Beijing or Barcelona.
As to Monroe, like I said in the other thread, we have already had this conversation, and it ended up in the same place, which is why I made a mistake in having it again. I am not saying that Monroe is awesome, or that the Lakers should sign him per se. I am saying that the FO needs to be flexible and open-minded about getting the roster out of this chasm it is in, and that I personally think they are in a position such that they are going to have to add 1-2 young starters in FA, even if they overpay them and the guys in question are not stars. If they do it your way, they are basically sitting back and praying for Anthony Davis. I might back that if they had control of all the first-round picks. As it is, I can’t.
On another issue: Boston is about to sneak into the playoffs, helped by Isaiah Thomas, whom they picked up from PHX and with whom they are 18-10. Big step back for them in your opinion? They still have all the picks and people are starting to see Brad Stevens as the next “it” coach.
While I agree with your points in general- I have to agree with rr in the sense that the lakers should overspend to get basic starters. Maybe not max them out- but definitely pay. That said, I don’t think t will be that much of an overpay-
If lakers exceptionalism does exist – it’s in the area of catering to avg/slightly above/slightly below avg players look great. Players here get MORE exposure to show their wares. We have more nationally broadcasted games, larger fan base, etc. Players such as Isaiah Thomas had wanted to sign onto lakers for a deal. Nick young signed on for a deal (initially) Ed davis did sign on for a deal. Exposure plus minutes.
While the FO haven’t yet attracted big names- they do have the ability to attract decent players without overpaying. That gives them more leeway to overpay for above above avg players I suppose. Ha.
IMO, saying that James or Anthony rejecting any Laker offer proves that the Lakers have lost their luster would seem to be a bogus argument.
That isn’t my argument, if this is to me, and in any case, this leaves out Howard, who was here, and walked. The argument is that it is unwise to presume that cap space=LakerNirvana
I actually wouldn’t mind getting him on a one year overpay deal- while he’s on the wrong side of time- he’s still smart and entertaining. I’m sure he wouldn’t put up with byron scott. To be honest though, I hope the FO signs jeremy lin for a decent four year deal-nice subversive in your face to Byron.
Craig W. says
We could argue all night about Howard, but suffice to say his not signing with the Lakers had as much to do with his personality as it did with other’s personalities.
There is absolutely no scenarios where signing Rondo makes sense. He is a below average, ball dominant, poor shooting point guard. There is no way he signs for 1 or 2 years – this us his last opportunity to get paid so he’ll be looking for a 3,4 or 5 yr deal. He doesn’t want to hit FA again when he’s 31 or 32. He’s on a downward glide and he will look less attractive in 2 years. Clarkson’s ceiling may be as a third guard on a great team but he’s far more productive that Rondo, right now.
The Lakers can’t tank next year. They’ll be too good to be this bad again. That’s why the meaningless wins this year could be costly. As I understand it the Lakers have an 83% chance of keeping their pick. If they lose it this year next year we’ll be at the back end of the Lottery.
If I was our FO I’d be very active this summer and depending on who we get with our Lottery pick, I’d sign some combination of Monroe, Harris or Middleton. If you feel we need a PG I’d pursue Knight or Jackson over Rondo.
I do fear that rolling cap space forward is not a good idea. We are among the few teams with legitimate cap space this summer. Next year everyone will.
We could argue all night about Howard, but suffice to say his not signing with the Lakers had as much to do with his personality as it did with other’s personalities.
That just reinforces my point: every guy who is going to get PT and big money anywhere is different and wants different things.
As I’ve said over and over its about money and winning. Hence why it’s so important to get cheap good players on rookie deals so you can afford the star players and be attractive to them at the same time roster wise. And yes every player cares about how many fans they have because they all care about money. And the amount of money you get paid in endorsement deals is in direct proportion to how many fans you have.
And yes the main goal is to get Anthony Davis. It would be stupid not to have him as the main target. The only way to get Davis is to keep cap space open so he sees other star players on the roster or able to join him on the roster in free agency. The Pelicans are doing what you suggest. They have added a bunch of average players on big contracts. They are going to lose Davis because of it. The same way Cle chased off lbj by going over the cap on average players. This is very common. Just like bad hitters in baseball, bad front offices are not patient and start chasing. The Lakers historically have been great at waiting for their pitch.
Boston is doing things the exact wrong way. Yes you’re correct in thinking that’s how I feel. They will go another thirty years between championships no doubt. They will have a lot of first round and out springs. It’s not just about getting draft picks it’s about getting top draft picks. How many blue chip picks do they have? Marcus Smart. That’s it. And he will never be a star. To be fair to the Celtics they have a much tougher jog as they are not a free agent destination. They literally have to draft a superstar or trade for one. That puts a lot more pressure on your draft picks as they can’t just be bait to attract star players they need to be star players themselves.
If the Lakers had good young talent on their roster on rookie deals would Howard leave? Of course not. He would know future star players would soon sign with him. If the Lakers were maxed out on average players would Howard leave? Probably. Players want to play with other star players not with “NBA starters” that you long for.
Players want to play with other star players not with “NBA starters” that you long for.
Well, ok, except Shaq joined a team with bunch of young starters because he wanted to play in LA. And no, don’t tell me that he knew Kobe was going to be awesome, and even if he thought that, he should have known that would take a few years–and no big-time FAs ever joined them except one: Phil Jackson. And LeBron ordered the Cavs to trade the brilliant, cost-controlled Andrew Wiggins for the average, overpaid Kevin Love, and who was going there because he wanted to be back home in Ohio. Yes, Irving was there, but if your argument applied then either James would be a Laker or Wiggins would be a Cav. And then there is Harden, who signed a long-term deal in Houston when there was no one there except him and when no one knew Howard would be there later because he wanted the money and because he would get to be the fulcrum of the offense.
Also, I am not suggesting that the Lakers blow their entire cap on a starting lineup. What I am saying that is the same thing I already said, which is that your plan seems to be:
1. Hope that Randle and whoever they get this year, if they keep the pick, are both really good.
2. Tank again and hope to beat the odds and keep the Top 3 pick and nail it.
3. Tank yet again and again hope to keep the Top 3 pick and nail the pick. After that point the PHI pick will be unprotected and we will be on to the Orlando picks, which will be two second-rounders.
4. Presume that the Lakers name, the cost-controlled talent, and market will bring in Davis and someone else with him. You even said that signing Davis would be the “easy part” if they can “nail the picks.”
If that is not what you think the team should do, feel free to correct me, as I have been misunderstanding. So, my point is that I don’t think that is an entirely realistic plan and the Lakers need to add some talent through other means. You obviously disagree.
BTW, Aaron, I really wanted to know what you think about Boston.
Todd- you are probably right. The only scenario I see rajon signing a one yr deal is if he’s delusional in thinking he will get a bigger max under the supersized cap the following year.
I don’t think either jackson or knight are worth the max they both will likely be seeking though.
Shaq was joining NBA all stars Eddie Jones and Nick Van Exel and a high school kid everyone was calling the next Jordon.
And the biggest draw for LBJ to Cle was a young star player in Irving. So yes. The second biggest draw was the top pick in the draft that could be used as trait bait.
And yes that’s exactly the Lakers plan. Is it easy? No. It’s hard to win championships. it’s much easier to sign average NBA starters and be an 8th seed for a decade like every other NBA team.
And you should have already known what I thought about Boston 😉 And you did.
And I’m only saying we should tank one more year for a variety of reasons. And that’s only if we can’t get Kawai.
Jones and Van Exel were both pretty good, but no one was thinking they were awesome players. Rajon Rondo and David Lee have been All-Stars as well. Yes, Kobe was talented but there were questions about him, since he was the first non-big to come to the NBA. I suspect that part of that was that Shaq trusted Jerry West. The Lakers don’t have that gravitas anymore.
As to LeBron, sure, Irving was a big part of it. But a lot of it was also wanting to come home to Northern Ohio and win a title there. He told them to trade Wiggins for Love because he didn’t want to wait around for Wiggins to develop.
And I am glad that I was clear on what your plan is. We will see if that is actually what the FO tries to do.
Lakers out of small forwards with Wes Johnson’s sprained ankle so that puts Ryan Kelly back at the 3 which is the position he should not be playing. Lakers really have no other options.
Curious- what happens if enough injuries happen where there are less than 5 healthy lakers in the game- what happens?
*knock on wood of course…
Todd: “There is absolutely no scenarios where signing Rondo makes sense.” Well – if we do sign him, I can guarantee you that there will be at least few justifications for the signing written on this very board.
Kimberly: If that happens Byron suits up. It might actually improve the on court talent level.
Robert- ha. Wonder how awkward it would be for byron to get around criticizing himself in post game interview… But seriously? With only 8 players suited up, the wes goes down, half time now- and some random collision takes out 3 more? 4 left… Wondering what the nba rules book states- or if this is covered
Rondo and David Lee used to be all stars and are past their prime. Nick Van Exel and Eddie Jones were on the rise young stars and soon to be all stars. The Lakers also Had Ceballos and Elden Cambell. Ceballos was turned into Robert Horry. West didn’t do much with Cambell and Van Exel.
And of course LBJ told them to trade Wiggins for someone on his timeline. If I’m the Cavs I do the same. Of course if I’m not in Cle I keep wiggins and use that cap space this summer to sign Kawai. But nobody wants to sign in a city like Cle. And they know it. A good front office convinces LBJ that love isn’t that player. But alas the Cavs did what bad front offices do.
– @ Craig W., “I do like the idea of offering Rondo $24M for 2 yrs and planing to play him 24-30 minutes a game – with Clarkson backing up both Rondo and Kobe.” If draft position stands as it is, there’s a very good chance 6’5 pg’s Mudiay and/or Russell will be on the board when it’s time for the Lakers to make a decision. Based on your scenario above, are you by passing these guys or sitting them on the bench behind Rondo, Kobe, & Clarkson?
– All in for pursuing the Piston’s Monroe in free agency.
Craig W. says
I don’t think we can pass up greater talent on our board to draft for need. I see that play out in football, but an NBA team can be dominated by a single individual, even though it takes a team to win a title. Therefore, I always want to draft for talent, not position. If we drafted one of those two players, however, I wouldn’t sign Rondo.
Craig W. says
I also, am all in on pursuing Monroe in free agency – what is the downside, with the change in the salary cap next year?
My response to the Rondo question is in approval mode.
Well, the tank is officially over. With 2 games to go the Lakers cannot change their final standing position.
Wondering if people would prefer if the Clippers manage to lose one so that perhaps the Lakers get another late 2nd round pick or the Rockets stay in the 6 slot for a better 1st round pick for the Lakers. I’m assuming the later but, I’m curious.
I have already been on record saying I wan to to sign rondo to a max one year deal so we can tank again next season (if we don’t sign Kawai)
Aaron: I have already been on record saying I wan to to sign rondo to a max one year deal so we can tank again next season (if we don’t sign Kawai).
I don’t think Kawai hits the open market – he represents the future for San Antonio. If anything the Spurs will use Leonard as an anchor to attract other FAs. Kawai is a restricted FA so the Spurs can match any offer and my sense is that they would do so up to the max. He’s not like a Khris Middleton or Tobias Harris in that their current teams likely would not overpay to keep them – which is why they should be of interest for the Lakers.
You comment regarding Rondo is illogical. I wouldn’t sign Rajon because he is on a downward career trajectory and he’s just not good anymore. Why would the Lakers spend $22 Million on him and then plan to lose?
Because the Lakers need to stay above the salary floor and they need to tank for one more year. You need washed up vets like rondo, Kobe, and boozer to play and keep the young good guys on the bench for as long as possible. Or else you have the Jazz and you start winning.
Bill Simmons on the Lakers….
Only two destinations truly matter to NBA players: the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat (we’ll get to them). That’s it. The Lakers will be fine.
Bonus positive no. 1: Kobe’s Expiring Contract!
Bonus positive no. 2: Cap space!!!!!
Bonus positive no. 3: Hollywood! Bel-Air! Beverly Hills! Malibu! 75 degrees! Hot women!
Bonus positive no. 4: Julius Randle can walk without a limp! At least for now!
Bonus positive no. 5: Jordan Clarkson’s emergence as This Year’s Second-Round Sleeper Headed For Good Things means the Lakers would be “phenomenally, almost historically stupid” to overpay a severely declining Rajon Rondo this summer instead of “typically, par-for-the-course-lately stupid.”
Bonus positive no. 6: Hypothetical Vegas odds for “Will Jeanie Buss push her brother Jimmy out in the next 12 months?” have shifted to -500 (YES) and +400 (NO).
(I repeat: The Lakers will be fine, even if it is nice to see their fans suffer for a couple of years. Welcome to the real NBA world, you guys.)
Aaron: Bill Simmons didn’t say anything about the Lakers tanking for an additional year. He basically said if we don’t do anything historically stupid (like signing Rondo) we’ll be fine. Yet, you want to sign Rondo…
The Lakers won’t be awful enough to tank next year. Look how hard it is to lose with our current lineup. Now add a healthy Randle, a top 5 pick and a potentially healthy Kobe. That is not a 15 win team, I’m sorry. If the Lakers sit out free agency and just add the picks I don’t think they will make the playoffs but they won’t be historically bad as you intimate they plan to be. As Craig W. alluded to, even I would run out of new ways to trash the FO in that situation.
No, I actually hope the Lakers are active in free agency this summer. Monroe, Harris and Middleton could all start for the Lakers next year (Middleton, if Kobe is hurt). Add in the kids (Randle, Clarkson and a pick) and you have something interesting – a very young and talented core that suddenly makes all those comparisons to the GSW, and their rise in the standings, realistic.
The Simmons blurb was not in response to you.
The Thunder were able to tank enough and get Harden with Ibaka, Durant, and Westbrook on the roster. I think the Lakers will have a great chance to get a top three pick next year just as they have a solid chance of getting a top three pick this year. To be honest unless Cousins becomes avIlable for pennies on the dollar or Kawai want to sign with the the lakers we don’t have another choice. There is no player worth adding to the roster anyways for anything over four to five million a year. So we really don’t have a choice. Besides Leonard we have one option and that is to tank. You need to play with the cards you’re dealt.
Again the Warriors didn’t sign average starters. They waited till they drafted a bunch of young good players in clay, steph, Barnes and Green. And then they went out and made free agent signings after they could no longer tank.
bryan S. says
Todd/Aaron et al: We don’t need another horrific season to get back in the running. A leap into the abyss to ‘try’ to secure a top 3 protected pick isn’t the way forward. As Todd noted, it’s pretty much impossible to pull that off given our roster. Greg Monroe is rumored to be headed to the Knicks. Honestly, he’s a pretty good but not great big with noteworthy skills (passing, scoring) and limitations (not a rim protector, gums up the middle, doesn’t space the floor). We can get similar production with low rent bigs and our developing bigs (Black, maybe Ed, FA, pick).
The Lakers should go hard for above average to pretty good RFA talent that can be pried away with over-paying this year. (Lots of salary cap space thereafter.) Middleton is the guy to really over-pay to dissuade the Bucks from matching. He’s a true two-way player who can play both the two and three. He is an analytics star. (The Bucks defensive scheme boosts his numbers defensively). We need shooting and perimeter defense more than anything (e.g. Spurs/Warriors). A near max offer for his years in the league of say, 52m will probably get it done. Bucks have Jabari Parker and Antetekompo to pay down the line. They are not a 3 max player outfit. Absent this, Tobias Harris is the next target. Offers to both should be tendered and the first that isn’t matched becomes a Laker.
As Mitch commented, there is an order of progression: lottery balls, draft, and free agency signings. The draft picks will steer free agency signings to a large degree. Let’s say we keep the fourth spot and decide on Mario Hezonja (supposedly his Spanish club hasn’t been playing him much to lessen interest from the NBA-not gonna work), we aren’t likely then, to pursue Middleton/ Harris. If we stay in the 4-5 pick range, either Muldiay or Russell is a likely target, with Winslow possibly moving into the mix here. It’s possible that the Lakers might try to trade down for a top ten pick plus a player or pick because they can still get talent there and they might be underwhelmed by the aforementioned trio of perimeter prospects.
The worst possible move would be signing a guy like Rondo who is no longer what he was and will slow the development of Clarkson and other guards. I really don’t see it happening; given that Mitch has already said that short-term signings won’t be made to win now at the expense of building a long-term contender.
I have to totally disagree with your belief that we have to tank again next year unless we get kawhai- which means we have to tank again bc NO WAY will the Spurs let him walk. If it weren’t for his hand injury earlier this season- he would be a legit MVP candidate for his two way play.
We can’t tank. Tanking might work for teams like the Sixers- but they seem to have to support of the fanbase bc their GM had been clear and public about their plans. We are not that type of team. Unfortunately, I think another stealth tank year will really undermine the FO and team’s image disasterously.
We can always trade and buy picks…
Can someone remind me the rules on Euro guys trying to make it to the NBA? When are they required to declare for draft first?
Kimberly – We are taking. This year. Now. There’s nothing stealthy about it. We just cant say it without risking the Commish’s ire.
If the Warriors’ picks had been Top-3 protected the years that Curry and Thompson came out, they wouldn’t have either of them even if they had won 10 games both years. Also, OKC and GS are one way it can happen with tanking. Minnesota and Sacramento are another.
Also, I am not saying that the Lakers should go out and drop 60M on a bunch of 30-year-olds. I think they should make a big play for 1 or 2 guys: Middleton or Harris or Monroe, maybe 1 or 2 others. If they miss out on them, then IMO the FO should keep the powder dry.
Very little has been mentioned about Tarik Black on this site. Let the record show that he has been playing very well of late. In the last 2 games, Black has 28 pts. and 29 rebounds. His 19 rebounds in yesterday’s game against Dallas were the most for a Laker rookie since Leroy Ellis in 1963. One can see why Kevin McHale did not want to let him go.
Below are Black’s numbers (points and rebounds) for the last 7 games:
April 1 (vs. New Orleans) — 16 pts., 3 rebounds
April 3 (vs. Portland) — 10 pts., 4 rebounds
April 5 (vs. Clippers) — 10 pts., 9 rebounds
April 7 (vs. Clippers) — 16 pts., 9 rebounds
April 8 (vs. Denver) — 5 pts., 2 rebounds
April 10 (Minnesota) — 18 pts., 10 rebounds
April 12 (vs. Dallas) — 10 pts., 19 rebounds
You will notice that not all of these opponents have been pushovers (Clippers twice, Dallas, Portland, New Orleans). IMO, Black is definitely a keeper. I must confess that I was ambivalent 3 weeks ago, but not any more. I think that he should be able to contribute in future years.
If I’m correct in this, then that makes two very shrewd moves by Mitch Kupchak this year — 1) acquiring Jordan Clarkson and 2) signing Tarik Black. With Julius Randle returning to health (Julius looks great in recent videos of his working out in practice) plus a possible lottery pick, a #25 or 26 pick late in the first round, and a #34 pick early in the 2nd round, the Lakers could be on the way to establishing a nice core of young players for the future.
But they’ve got to nail those draft picks. That is not an option.
But back to my original point: Tarik Black has been looking good.
Anon- we tanked this season, I agree, but it was NOT Acknowledged, the way it has been acknowledged and endorsed by 76ers.
We did not begin to truly tank until byron decided it was time to “experiment” with line up changes. Before then, we truly were just unlucky with injuries and inept.
Agree about finding decent FAs. From what I understand Harris’s deal with Nike or some other brand incentivizes him to sign with a big market like Los Angeles. Not sure if his is a common deal with with other players. Will find the link.
Mid-Wilshire – I believe that Tarik Black is not under contract for next year. HoopsHype.com has him as being a free agent next season.
Aaron: You have been very consistent. So if we sign Rondo, you will applaud it as part of the tank plan. Others will post all summer about how the team is going to be “better than expected, scrappy, and entertaining”. I am not in favor of the signing for either purpose.
Todd: “even I would run out of new ways to trash the FO” I will not allow that to happen to you. I will periodically remind you of their long list of accomplishments.
Kawia Lenard is a Restricted free agent. There is no way in he!! that San Antonio will let him go. Ever. Discussing Kawia Lenard as a possible free agent target for the Lakers is a waste of time and pixels.
Tarik Black is technically a Restricted Free Agent. He has a non-guaranteed contract with the Lakers for a 2nd year. The Lakers have two choices: 1) sign him for a 2nd year at his current rate or 2) pass on him.
I feel fairly confident that the Lakers will bring him back. Byron Scott has indicated that he will in all likelihood be back with the team next year.
Mid-Wilshire/Todd – Spotrac has Tarik on a nonguaranteed contract next year. Yea, he looks good and seems smart. Hope he doesn’t develop too many bad habits under Scott.