The Lakers, with Kobe Bryant’s disastrous extension wiped away that summer, could sniff three max cap slots. The Lakers’ cap flexibility yielded nothing of note last summer, but a Lakers team with the ability to offer a package deal to multiple stars is the ultimate NBA bogeyman.
(via Zach Lowe: How the NBA’s New TV Deal Could Blow Up the Salary Cap)
In the coming summers, this upcoming one included, the Lakers should have immense spending power. They purposely built their roster to “maintain flexibility” and be able to be a major competitor on the open market for the league’s best free agents.
This upcoming summer, for example, should the team not exercise their team option on Jordan Hill and get two first round picks (their own — which is still in question — and the Rockets, which is not) the Lakers would have between $20-23 million in cap space come July 1st. This number would include cap holds for Jordan Clarkson, Tarik Black, Robert Sacre, and Jabari Brown. Jump to the Summer of 2016 when, as Zach Lowe notes above, Kobe’s contract comes off the books, and the Lakers could be in a position to spend boatloads of money on free agents to rebuild their roster with an influx of amazing talent.
When viewing the team’s trajectory through this prism, visions of what the Miami Heat did in the Summer of 2010 becomes a model many fans hope to follow. Keep the cap clean — maybe even losing a lot next season to get another high pick — and then spend like crazy in the summer of ’16 when there will be a batch of free agents worth spending the cash on. There’s a seductive logic to this that is easy to be roped into. I get it.
And, for what it’s worth, Mitch Kupchak, hinted at this sort of plan (minus all the losing next year) during his exit interview. Baxter Holmes of ESPN has the quotes and the context:
For now, what the Lakers are planning on is spending wisely with an eye toward the future rather than trying to load up on veteran contracts in order to make a title run during what’s expected to be Bryant’s final year as a Laker.
“We’re not going to use cap room just to use cap room and maybe improve,” Kupchak said. “I can use the expression 20 games because we won so few games this year. We don’t want to end up using our cap room and winning 40 games. That year doesn’t get you in the playoffs. Oklahoma City won 45 games, and they still didn’t make it in the playoffs.
“You work hard to create a future, whether it’s draft picks or an opportunity to make a trade or free-agent dollars, and you don’t want to give it away just because you have it.
Again, I get it. The Lakers don’t need to chase veteran players who might have a positive, though not radical, impact on wins but still leave them short of the playoffs. They especially don’t need to do so as if the cap space they have this summer is burning a hole in their proverbial wallet. Patience — though not as much recently, for sure — has been a mainstay of the Lakers building of title contending rosters dating back to Magic Johnson’s first retirement.
Get good players, play good basketball, and when the opportunity to really make a splash comes, be in position to take advantage. From Shaq in ’96 to Pau over a decade later, the Lakers used this approach to build a winner. Getting back to those roots would be a positive. After the failed gambles on Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, one would argue it’s a necessity.
The above wasn’t all Kupchak said, however. He would add:
But you do have to weigh anticipation and your fans wanting to see some improvement. That is a challenge. That’s not to say the only player we’ll spend our money on is a max player. There may be better opportunities out there.
We don’t know that right now. We do have to balance how you use that money, and two years from now there’s a dramatic change in the landscape in terms of the cap.
In these comments, you see the path to the middle ground. Which is also the path Jerry West took when Magic was forced to step away. Get good players, play good basketball, and when the opportunity to really make a splash comes, be in position to take advantage.
The Lakers are in a unique position this summer. The cap will not yet explode, but they will have ample space to chase any type of player they want. If they want to go after, say, Kevin Love, they can. If LaMarcus Aldridge decides he wants to leave the Blazers, the Lakers could chase him too. Making the needed roster moves to offer any high priced FA all their cap space is certainly an option.
More realistically, though, the Lakers should be targeting high functioning role players who can fill in potential needs and do so at a salary that might seem a bit high now, but will come back to relative value once the cap jumps next summer. If they can lock them in at even lower rates (for example, could you get Ed Davis at the current MLE as Lowe implies in his column on great value free agents?), it’s even better.
The Lakers have an opportunity to try and add to their talent base now with younger veteran players who are free agents (either restricted or unrestricted) and do so without spending all their cap space. They can then roll over some of their money to next summer and add it to the lump of space all teams will get from the increase in the cap (as well as the bump from Kobe’s deal expiring). Make the team somewhat better and more attractive in the short term, to lure the big fish that makes them excellent in the long term. Chase the role player now, get the star later.
The success of the 2010 Heat’s summer has created, or at least strongly contributed to, an increase in large market hubris about their ability to nab multiple top level free agents. You can almost imagine the Knicks and Lakers of the world thinking “Hey, Riles did it South Beach, we can do it too in (Los Angeles or Manhattan)”. In reality, though, that leap of logic sort of misses the point. LeBron and Bosh joined Dwywane freaking Wade — a top 10 player still in his prime years at the time — to form the foundation of a team. Add in the side contracts that were working simultaneously with Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem and the core for a high functioning team was established. I’m of the mind that history will tell us this was a totally unique situation that will prove nearly impossible to replicate.
The Lakers, via the draft and this upcoming summer in free agency, would be better served thinking back to their own history — the years leading up to 1996. In the seasons right before signing Shaq and trading for Kobe’s draft rights, the Lakers stockpiled young players and made smart signings in free agency for young-ish players who would become the assets that were either traded for or directly contributed to the teams that broke through for a three-peat under Phil Jackson. Fast-forward to today and this team, with a little lottery luck and their spending power, could be in position to set a similar foundation.
It truly was amazing that three star free agents decided to play on a team with no other quality players just because it was south beach. It was even more amazing they went to four straight finals and won two with no other quality players on the roster.
That’s why if I’m the Lakers I don’t count on just the destination of Los Angeles. You need to load up the team with cheap high first round draft picks so you have something to offer besides just “South Beach” to the 3-4 max star players who want to play together.
We also have to learn from Miami’s mistakes of signing declining bad players (Miller, Haslem, Battier) to big money deals.
Jerry West once said that, sometimes, the best deal you make is not to make a deal at all. (Actually, that’s a lie, but it sounds more authoritative coming from West than from little ‘ok me).
I fear that this offseason the best approach may be a repeat of this year as far as “markee” free agents, just as alluded to above. Sure, Jim and Mitch will be crucified by the likes of ESPN and Grantland (and Robert and Ko), but what other realistic alternative is there?
With this in mind, I will say the following: Rondo makes sense on a one year deal, for much less than the max contract,with the hopes that some team out there may need to offer picks, mid level guys on 2-3 year deals or just cash in a trade where the receiving party’s motivation is to start rebuilding OR to address injuries OR to create additional cap space room at th end of the season that they may need to build a contender. just a thought. I welcome any and all opinions, as well as rebuttals.
Mistakenly posted on the old thread.
@ Aaron and your tank fantasies.
Per David Alridge: “Without smoothing, the cap will spike in 2016 — from its current $63 million to an estimated $90 million for the 2016-17 season. And the floor — the minimum amount that every team must spend on salaries — would increase from the current $56.579 million (90 percent of the total cap) to around $81 million per team in ’16-’17. A year from now, just about every team in the league will have significant cap room to spend on free agents.”
Per Basketball Insiders, the Lakers guaranteed salary for next season is $35 Million and including non-guaranteed salaries its nearly $50 Million. So to reach the floor the Lakers would have to spend between $5 and $21 million on salaries. If they pick up the non-guaranteed salaries they can add their two 1st round picks and exceed the floor. If they reject all the non-guaranteed salaries they can add Greg Monroe, Tobias Harris and Khris Middleton as well as their two 1st round picks, exceed the floor and still stay below the cap. Then next summer still have enough cap space to add two max players – should they choose to.
Your proposed 3rd year of tanking is nonsense. I agree with Todd, above, it’s time to turn the corner. I don’t see us making the playoffs but I do not see us vying for the worst record in the league again.
Without a doubt, Rondo is a contemptuous, churlish, basking in his artificial rays of basketball hegemony with an authority problem. Here’s why the Lakers may pursue him this off-season. At the age of 29 Rajon is already a four-time all-star and 2008 champion! This is the first year since 2011-2012 that he’s played in more than 50 games, having played 22 for the Celtics prior to the trade to the Mavericks in late December. Where he disrupted the chemistry of Dallas with a ball dominant persona on a team structured to run Carlisle’s offense through Nowitzki or Ellis. In addition, the Mavericks required a veteran player to improve the offense opening up the lane for kick outs to Monta and Dirk. Instead, they got the dubious, anemic offense of Rondo who appeared to not desire to exert himself on the defensive end of the floor. Playing defense is a sacrifice for the sake of your teammates and winning, so is it any wonder that Rajon displayed no willingness in that aspect? He never connected with the team, the town, the coach, or the fans. Most players on their way out of town neglect that end of the floor (Recall Lakers Howard circa 2012-2013).
Now to the crux of the matter. This summer Rondo will join Kobe and Wesley to rehabilitate and strengthen his core, workout, develop a shot, go to and counter move, and improve his free-throw shooting. I realize that many on this board think that a player’s game plateaus at a prescribed age. Incapable of adding any wrinkles to their game, thus rendering them the player that they’ve shown their entire career. Not true, players can add a consistent 3-pt shot to their game if they commit themselves to time in the gym performing drill, after drill, after drill until the shot becomes insentient. According to Wikipedia Barnes, made ten 3-pters his entire career prior to 2006. But during the 2006-2007 season, at the age of 26 he made 106 and has carved out a career as a three & D player ever since. The summer of 2006 Barnes spent the entire summer with a trainer shooting and doing drills. Another example is Trevor Ariza admittedly he was younger but his first year with the Lakers he shot 5-18 3-pters for a .280 percentage. However, after working out with Kobe the summer of 2008 he shot .319 percent while making 61 out of 191 shots from that distance.
If, indeed, Rondo joined the Lakers with this agenda in mind it might be worth it for the Lakers to sign Rondo for a multi-year contract at 7-9 million a year. Don’t misconstrue my assertion here, Rondo will never return to his all-star form, but he can become a close approximation of that player by improving his free-throws and 3-pt shooting.
Just for the record, I’ve viewed players like Rondo on lower levels of the game plenty times they neglect advice or guidance from anyone due to already having everything they need. Andrew Wiggins appeared to be on his way down this road until Cleveland got his attention by trading him. It may be too late for Rondo bearing in mind that he’s been in the league since 2006. But if he finally gets it and wants James Brown Payback then he just might spend this summer working on his game and physicality to turn the league out.
Again… you can’t force something that isn’t there. There are no young good players available this offseason and there aren’t any great players of any age that will be free agents. I have used the baseball metaphor in the past. You can;t be swinging at pitches in the dirt because you’re being pitched around. The best option is to get one more draft pick before the rebuild truly starts.
…to add on. I have been saying the Lakers were tanking or would be tanking two years ago. Most thought they were “fantacies” back then. I predicted 23-25 wins this season. People thought that was a fantasy. I thought the Lakers would tank for three years straight because that’s what I would do. There isn’t a better option. Just one more bad year guys. Just one more. We’ve done this for two years now. Just one more. You can do it. We can do it. Be patient.
Aaron – its not possible for the Lakers to be bad enough to keep their pick during the 2015/16 season (top 3 protected). This past year the Lakers had season ending injuries to Randle and Kobe and virtually every NBA analyst said the blance of thier roster sucked and they only managed to have the 4th worst record in the league.
For what you imply to happen is Kobe would likely have to miss his final year due to injury, we discover Randle is not a yet a player/contributer and we would have blown our top 5 pick on someone who isn’t ready to play in the NBA. Essentially, you are asking the FO to intentionally manipulate a poor roster and make it horrific. You are asking the FO to open themselves up to another year of monumental criticism.
What you are suggesting goes beyond reasoned thinking — it’s in the aluminum hat wearing territory.
. I predicted 23-25 wins this season. People thought that was a fantasy.
You need to get out more. Many people here (including me) and basically 100% of NBA fans outside the Lakers fan base were quite sure that the 2014-15 team would be pretty bad at best and really bad at worst. There is a small, loud, insistent group of people here who have tried to sell optimism about the team as a sign of intellectual sophistication, (some of them have ceased posting) but in the rest of the NBA fandom world, very few people have thought of the Lakers as anything but a bad team and a lost franchise since Howard walked.
As to tanking, we have covered that. That narrative has holes you could drive a well, tank, through. But the thing to remember is that the Lakers’ FO could try really hard/really want to to get better this year by signing guys that you don’t think they should, and still wind up not adding anyone if they lose the pick. Monroe will have many teams looking at him, as will Love if he hits the market. Middleton, Harris, and Knight are all RFAs.
And one more time: the pick is only Top-3 protected. Going 10-72 next year does not guarantee keeping the pick.
Nothing is a sure thing. If we don’t sign anyone and play bad lineups we probably only have a fifty percent chance of getting a top three pick. However… If we sign guys like Love, Monroe, or Middleton we have a zero percent chance of getting a top three pick and we hurt our odds of creating a championship team by over paying for average talent. That’s literally the worst thing we could do. If we tank the worst thing that happens is we don’t get a top three pick but we maintain the flexibility needed to attract multiple star players. If we pull a Knicks and spend big money on average players we set the franchise back 5 years.
. However… If we sign guys like Love, Monroe, or Middleton we have a zero percent chance of getting a top three pick and we hurt our odds or creating a championship team by over paying for average talent. That’s literally the worst thing we could do.
Well, I am not going to speak for Darius, but I think he might disagree with you on the latter two, at least, based on his Tweets. But of course he can weigh in if he likes.
As for me, you and I have had this conversation. Again, I think that your thinking is too linear. I don’t see getting guys like Monroe, Middleton or Isaiah Thomas as either a strait jacket or an anvil. They can be flipped for other guys and expirings and picks, they can be used to make the team more attractive to other FAs, they can be used in a package to trade for a star. When you add in:
1. The Lakers’ lack of picks
2. The anticipated growth of the cap
I don’t see paying a guy like Middleton as some huge, team-killing blunder. If the cap were shrinking and the Lakers had all their picks, I might see it that way. As it is, I don’t.
Zero percent chance star players look at Love or Monroe and say I want to play with them soaking up 20 million a year. Much better chance star players look at Love or Monroe on rookie contracts and say I want to join up with other star players and play with those young guys in LA. That’s why the draft is so important. You want your average players on rookie contracts. Not at 10-20 million a year. Yes sometimes you can get value for signing a average player to a big deal. But most of the time it’s Swaggy P sinking you to the bottom of the ocean.
Calvin Chang says
Aaron’s right on this. I wasn’t a tank-believer at the start, but I saw the light after the all-star break. I just hope they can make it an entertaining and profitable tank next year.
Calvin Chang says
Aaron – what’s your take on D’Andre Jordan? Is he a max player? His FT is awful and his offense only comes from alley-oops and putbacks. But his rim-protection is tops. He’s like a bigger, longer and stronger version of Ed Davis.
Jordan is a good defender but not a great one. I love rim protecting centers. Jordan isn’t Tyson Chandler in his prime though. I wanted the Lakers to draft Jordan. I like him. I think Jordan is one of the few players worth 10-13 million a year. Players are usually worth the min or the max. But he is def not worth a max contract.
Anon: Thank u for recognizing that I am one of the biggest critics of the current FO led by Jim Buss. Sine he took over I have been criticizing him relentlessly and the results have been terrible. Where you have me wrong is the FA signings. I did not want us to do much last year and I am not sure we should do much this year. The more the FO does the more issues arise. There are few good options now that we are in the bottom of a hole. I was often accused of saying that the sky is falling, back when MB was the coach and then later when we lost DH. Well the sky has fallen. But I realize that I should have faith and that the Lakers will rise again. I do have faith that each day brings us closer to the post Jim Buss era.
Zero percent chance star players look at Love or Monroe and say I want to play with them soaking up 20 million a year.
You might want to check on that with LeBron James, who currently plays with Love and got Love traded to his team for two guys on rookie deals. And your track record on predicting what star players will do, is, shall we say, a little spotty. Finally, as Darius points out above, Miami 2010 was very unusual, and you are basically saying that the Lakers should try to repeat it. We will start to find out if that is possible soon enough, since New Orleans can offer Davis an extension this summer. I presume you are predicting that Davis will do what Monroe did and play out next year on a rookie deal and the following year on a QO, thus becoming an UFA in 2017.
All that said, I think the Lakers will probably wind up having to go with the plan you want them to by default. I don’t think they should be favored to land wither Monroe or Love, and I think teams will match on Middleton and Harris.
I never predicted where LBJ would land. As said previously I reported what a source associated with the Lakers told me one year before his FA and six months before his FA. I did believe my source as he was right every time up until that summer.
In regards to Love… This is not last summer. Love is now exposed and LBJ more than anyone regrets forcing the Cavs to trade for him. I guess it was just me and Jerry West who knew the player Love was last summer. And Minny fans of course.
Regarding the Heat. I want to do the opposite of what the Heat did. I want to attract star players due to roster construction of young talent on cheap rookie deals. I don’t want to just rely on “south beach”. We are the Lakers in Los Angeles. It would be flat out stupid to not use our market as an advantage and sign the best players in the league. That’s why we won’t and shouldn’t sign average players and take away one or two max free agent slots.
And I agree with you. That’s half he point. I would love for their to be a star player young enough to be a building block this offseason to avoid tanking another year. But there isn’t. These are the hands we were dealt.
…and yes. That’s another reason you want those cheap rookie contracts. You can easily trade them for star players.
George — it’s very possible – i think highly likely – that Kobe IS done. It’s also possible that Randle isn’t all that, and that the Lakers lose or botch “their” lottery pick this year. How likely all three occur? Well, less likely than each disaster individually, of course, but I wouldn’t rule it out.
No one is opposed to having guys on rookie deals. But I personally think that the Lakers will have to use means to acquire players other than guys on rookie deals + superstar FAs.
Below is a post of yours from a couple of years ago. So, OK, you tied it to Howard, and OK, it is not a flat-out prediction, and OK, you had James leaving Miami. But you had a lot of posts pretty much like this and some worded more strongly than this–and you make a direct comparison between the Lakers and Miami 2010, which brings us back around to now and Lakers Exceptionalism Part II. If we are going to to go back in the wayback machine, I was among the first people here to talk about Howard heading to Houston before it happened.
WRT Love, yes, his stock is down, and yes, you called it. You are a Grade-A eyeball scout. But Love is still a Team USA guy in his 20s and a lot of how he is seen will hinge on the rest of the postseason–and players around the league might not see him the way that you do.
Aaron June 14, 2013 at 11:01 am
Lakers 2014 Free Agency
If Dwight resigns with the Lakers Los Angeles is primed to make a big spash in 2014. Just as I predicted Bosh and LeBron would join Wade in Miami I am predictions LeBron joins Dwight and another superstar of their choice in LA. BUt who is that other superstar?
The lakers third and fourth choices will be Carmelo and Rudy Gay. But their first two choices will be Paul Goerge and Demarcus Cousins
but they are restricted. So that would only work if the pacers and Kings can’t afford to max them out and match the Lakers offer. It’s unlikely but possible as the Pacers and Kings don’t have a ton of cash to throw at non superstar players.
With Miami capped out with an aging supporting cast and a declining Wade (last night aside) LeBron is as good as gone especially with Riley selling his Miami apartment and building a large house in Malibu. Most likley its not Phil Jackson who comes back to the Lakers but Pat Riley as a part owner and FO executive. But don’t count out Phil stepping back to the bench to coach the new super team. People always go where the money is. They go where the beach is. They go where the pretty people are. They go where the winning is. All roads lead to Hollywood. LeBron wants to be the first billion dollar basketball player. The Lakers are a global franchise. I give it better than 50 percent odds this plays out in the Lakers favor. It usually does right?
Aaron June 14, 2013 at 11:18 am
Although I said this months ago I can’t take credit for this specific predation with Pat Riley as my close friends live next to him in Malibu and speak to him frequently. But I predicted this before I heard Pat Riley told my family friends my prediction was spot on. So ill still take credit for reading the market place.
Aaron, what you are dreaming is fantasy basketball with lots of assumptions:
1. That high draft picks player will make the Lakers a Championship caliber in three years time;
2. That Lakers are guaranteed for the top 3 draft pick if they intentionally become a worse team than last season;
3. That the market, longtimed Lakers fans have the patience to embrace incompetence in a very competitive city;
4 That your good players like Clarkson, Randle would be loyal to a team whose objective to tank and ruin their basketball career;
5. That the coach who is considered one the legends in Inglewood would be in cahoot with this fantasy of tanking and dreaming of Championship without really applying the skill set to excel;
6. That the capitalistic institutions who invest millions on the Lakers such as: cable TV, Staples, Advertisers, season ticket holders before you were born would subscribe to such nefarious practices worse than what Don Sterling did to his team;
7. Lastly, Kobe. a future hall of famer will never get involve in this kind of scandal of skimming public money for self serving ends. Somehow, someone would expose this scandal at the detriment of the Lakers.
I must really be an old fan to read fantasies such as this from die hard Laker fans. We used to cringe, don’t watch TV, don’t read newspapers, not in the mood to talk because Lakers lost the game against the leprechauns. Today, people want to lose a season, willing to embarrass themselves in chase of an NCAA rookie!
It’s so good to see California native Tony Snell finally play up to his potential scoring 16 points with .500 from the 3pt line. This kid played for the same travel club as Kawhi, look for him to garner recognition as a three and D player during these playoffs.
Everything is considered when making every decision. Of course. It’s just historically the worst deals have been on above average players in this league. It’s just super risky. If there is a great deal out there of course you sign a young player to a five million to 10 million a year deal. Look what the Warriors did with Curry. I said I want Love for 5 million a year. I want Jordan for ten million a year. I would even pay the Max for Kawai. Now that’s a real question. That’s the stuff we should be talking about on this site. That’s my dream. Not should we spend 20 million a season on Monroe or Love. The real question is if we should spend that on the DPOY. He shouldn’t have won it. Lebron is the DPOY. But this is the first time since Dwight Howard a great defender won the award. So this is a good thing.
Chris J says
Damn those pesky archives and their ability to document comments and call Aaron on his garbage…
Aaron April 23, 2015 at 5:29 pm
“I never predicted where LBJ would land.”
Interesting, since you previously felt the need to say you were wrong about this topic, after LBJ signed with the Cavs after you were repeatedly telling all who would listen that LeBron being a Laker “is going to happen.” There’s more, of course, but it’s not worth the time to further prove you’re wrong. Again.
But please, keep spouting your bulls—t.
Aaron July 8, 2014 at 7:43 pm
“I now feel like I can’t jinx it. It’s going to happen. So let me tell you why Melo and LBJ are probably coming to the lakers. Always follow the money. The Lakers can offer more money to LeBron than anyone else. His ensoreemt deals more than make up for the five million a year he would be leaving on the table.”
Aaron July 9, 2014 at 1:22 pm
“Well I was wrong. I was dead wrong and I heard wrong. Apparently Melo is going to the Knicks and LBJ is going to Cle wow. LBJ is a moron. Cleveland!??!!”
Sorry, but it makes no sense for the Lakers to try and tank hard enough next year to be a bottom 3 team. Just stop Aaron. When you first started posting heavily on this board, I assumed you were a troll pretending to be a Lakers fan. Hmmph.
As someone replied above -> they had 4 season ending injuries this year and barely squeaked into the bottom 5. They will have Kobe back next year. Randle injury free. Jordan Clarkson one year better. And, a top 5 rookie. Not to mention some promising young guys in Tarik Black and Jabari Brown. Oh, and Swaggy P.
Do I see them contending for a playoff spot? No, probably not. However, I can’t see them being bottom 3 in the league. Much better to win 35-40 games and look like they are on the way back up, so that good players will look this way and think that they might be the missing piece to the puzzle.
Thanks for taking the time to look that up. I lacked the energy to call him out on that particular run of BS.
Baylor Fan says
“I want to do the opposite of what the Heat did”
The Heat had the 2006 finals MVP still in his prime in Wade. They had Riley and all his rings. They were 47-35 in the 2009-2010 season. I would say mission accomplished, the Lakers are indeed doing the opposite of what the Heat did.
All this talk about Kevin Love being “average” is garbage. First statistically he is still not average despite only shooting 12.7 shots per game now as a Cav vs. 18-ish as a Timberwolve. He is one of only 3 guys in the NBA to post the pts/rebounds/assists that he did this season. The guy stands at the 3pt line for most of the season now, thus his rebounds are going to go down. I agree his defense is average most nights to below avg depending on his match-up. His passing is far above average, his 3pt shooting at volume is elite at his position anyway.
He stepped up big for the Cavs again last night as well. Love is not a superstar, but he’s 25 yrs old and will get better (nearly all players peak around 28-29yrs old). He’s still a top 5 PF in the NBA hands down, just purely by his all around offensive game and rebounding ability. He’s not going to be a Lebron or KD type superstar, but he easily can be a great #2 option on a team. Regardless he is often the #4 option on the Cavs with JR Smith many games jacking up a ton of shots. He’s going to stay a Cav, so all those who don’t want him to be a Laker, good news for you he isn’t coming here. Bad news, Lakers are going to suck for another 2 years for sure, so no point in arguing with Aaron about tanking, Lakers will continue to be lousy, they just may not be lousy enough to retain picks. Maybe they can hit 30 wins again post-Kobe with some new talent and a new coach.
I really, really don’t see a team of Clarkson, Bryant, Randle and a Top 5 pick being able to lose enough games to save our Top 3 pick.
This season was mired with season ending injuries, benching productive players, and using the season as one long scrimmage series. That won’t happen again.
Kobe is a competitor. Clarkson is a competitor. Randle is a competitor. With those three guys on the floor, simply playing basketball, the Lakers will win enough games on accident to lose that top pick. Throw in a potential Rondo, a top five pick, improved role players like Davis, Black, and Brown, along with some solid talent from FA and you’re looking at a team over .500. The Lakers organization, fandom, and players will not tolerate another pathetic season just to get a MAAAAAYBE top three pick. Besides, what will future FA think about being courted by a team with pathetic performances two seasons in a row after their HOF best player just retired?
@ George: I agree is not possible for the Lakers to be bad enough to keep their top 3 pick next year. I don’t beleive we will make the playoffs but I do expect progress on the floor.
@ R: I suspect you are correct, that Kobe is done. He hasn’t been injury free in two years. And even if he is injury free he’s not that ‘Kobe’ anymore.
@ rr: Agreed, the competition to sign Monroe, Harris, Middleton and Knight will be fierce. We’d be asking them to take a leap of faith on how we would move forward, where other teams are already executing their plans. I think Love opts out to extend in Cleveland. To me the pick is key, especially if its Towns, as he seems ready to contribute at a position of importance. The pieces fall in place sooner if we get him.
If we lose our pick we’ll be awful again next year. Not ‘keep our top 3 pick awful’ but awful just the same. If that happens I think the push back on the FO will get very heated. The feel good articles about Jeanie and her dad will begin to focus on Jim’s ineptitude and his ‘timeline’.
Re Rondo. Just say, ‘No’. Every argument for signing him is based on some ‘miracle’ enhancement that he will undergo during the off season — he’ll get his head straight, he’ll learn to shoot or Kobe will keep him in line. Even when he was a very good player, during the Celtics championship run, he needed a team of older superstars (Garnet, Pierce and Allen) and an elite coach (Rivers) to keep him focused. Rondo is far from being that player and we don’t have anywhere near the internal support needed to perform constant ‘interventions’ on his behalf. Again, just say, ‘No.’
Yes…. As said over and over again I was repeating on this site what was told to me. From the start I said this wasn’t a prediction out of nowhere. I said I was told this from a good source. And I trusted my source. The reading comprehension has to improve.
The roster you outlined healthy next season will very much be in the hunt for a top three pick again.
Again… Wade was not on the Heat. He was a free agent. The Heat I believe had two rookies they just drafted on their roster. That’s it. They completely dismantled their team to sign the big three.
Love at best is an average NBA player. That’s if you consider him a great offensive player. Then being a awful defensive player puts him as dead average in total as a ball player. Of course his rebounding was always overrated as he mostly grabs up easy rebounds somebody else on his team would get anyways. That’s why his teams didn’t rebound better when he was on the floor. That’s the real way GMs judge rebounders. Not by the total rebounds they collect. Again… This is a conversation this site has already had. The debate is over on this one re how to judge rebounders.
Again… The team you outline is a bottom five NBA team. Kobe was one of the worst players in the NBA this year… One can only assume he will be even worse another year older.
Good post, as usual. Just as a reminder: Monroe is the only one of those guys who is an UFA, so whether any of those other dudes bail will be up to the FOs of their teams, not to the guys themselves. Since Milwaukee has Parker and Antetokounmpo, they are probably less likely to match on Middleton than Orlando is to match on Harris.
As to Love, I have no idea what he will do, and I would guess that he is not sure yet, either. I think some of it will obviously depend on how the playoffs go. If Chicago upsets Cleveland in the next round, then that might push Love out. If they have a long run, that might draw him in. If they actually win it, then that could make it go either way.
But as is the case with all these guys, it will ultimately be about what Love himself wants and I don’t think many people know what that is.
Kevin Pelton said that the Lakers’ most visible path for a quick rebuild would be somehow getting Towns and Love.
Andres Garcia says
No on Rondo. The knee injury robbed him of some of his quicks and he still can’t shoot. He’ll never be able to shoot, the sample size is too large and its trending down.
No on Monroe. Too bad defensively and the league has largely moved on from post up 4s.
As a Bruin, I like KLove. But he’s got limitations. Can he be a top 2 player on a title team (bc u have to pay him like he is)? I’m not sure. He’s a great player for the first 36 minutes of games, but when teams lock down defensively in the 4th, it’s tough for him to get clean looks unless he’s spotting up. Ideally u want a top 2 guy to be able to create offense in crunch time. He’s also pretty bad defensively. Also, if u go KLove, u have to move Julius. He’s a 4. Doesn’t have the quicks laterally to defend 3s.
I like Danny Green at about 8-9 mil on a 2-3 year deal. I know he’ll be 28 in June. But he’s nails on D, makes smart basketball plays, hits open Js, and creates space for offense to run efficiently. All of that, will help youngsters develop quicker (whether we get top 5 or not, still have some kids next year). He’s also a pro and would help create a nice culture for the youngsters.
I think next year’s team is likely to be nearly as bad as this one, but again, even if next year’s team wins 10 games, that does not lock in the pick.
I think counting on Kobe for anything other than some bad games, a few good ones, and another season-ending injury is, (or, failing that, being in and out of the lineup, resting a lot, and playing about 55 games) unfortunately, wishful thinking. As to Randle, we will see, but he will have a learning curve and he has to prove he can stay on the floor. If the Lakers keep the pick, the guy they get will also have a learning curve–there are no Shaqs or Magics in this draft. Clarkson will do well, but I expect that any improvement will be incremental.
I like Ed Davis, but I don’t see him getting any better. Kelly, Black, and Brown are capable of contributing, but they are all 8th-9th men types.
Then you look at the rest of the bottom of the conference:
Sacramento could go any number of ways, but George Karl has a history of improving teams and they do have Cousins, whom they can keep or move.
Minnesota is much more likely to get the #1 pick than the Lakers are. They have Wiggins and might be able to move Pekovic for something.
Denver was much better after Shaw was replaced, and although they are in no-man’s land, they have a much sounder roster than the Lakers do.
Utah was the most improved team in the NBA down the stretch and plays good defense, led by Gobert.
Phoenix is also in no-man’s land and may tear down.
Then you get to OKC and NO.
always a triangle fan says
it still amazes that people take aaron seriously. besides his make-believe sources on pat riley, he must also be really tight with ray allen. because he wasn’t a quality player. i mean, who cares about that finals shot against the spurs? that was just luck. everyone knows ray allen can’t shoot a lick….
Craig W. says
You are right about the Western Conference, the Lakers could be the worst team – not likely, but certainly possible. However, you forget the East. It would be very difficult for an improved Lakers team – even marginally improved – to be any worse than where they finished this year.
I think anyone who espouses trying to keep next year’s pick – assuming we keep this year’s pick – is whistling past the graveyard. Sorry Aaron, but continuing to try to tank is practically impossible. We were not trying to tank this year, until all the injuries made a mockery of team basketball.
With so many bad injuries over the last three years, I don’t understand why there isn’t more pressure from the fan-base to rethink how the training staff goes about their business. The only mitigating factor would be that injuries are up around the league. IMO, players should be playing other sports, instead of concentrating just on basketball – both while they are NBA players and before they make the league.
Cross-training is a fairly accepted method of making sure your muscles are balanced. It is also fairly well known that having specific muscles developed, while companion muscles are not developed, is a sure fire way to injure yourself when working in your sport. I know that one reason for lifting free-weights, instead of using machines that isolate your muscles, is that your form is not perfect and you tend to also strengthen muscles around the muscles you are trying to work, i.e. your balance shifts and you work companion, but unanticipated muscles.
– Loved the first line of this article, thanks Zach
– Does anyone wonder what type of mindset Kobe will have in 2015-16? Within range of Karl Malone on the scoring list, on a team going nowhere, which doesn’t respect his player personnel suggestions in his free agent walk year? A year featuring MEGA BUCKS. Hmmmm
Craig W. says
Hate is a wonderful thing. But it doesn’t often take into account growth, maturity, or being humbled by life.
Everyone is mentioning injuries like good NBA players were taken away. The only thing injuries did was give playing time to the Lakers best player (Clarkson). If anything the injuries helped the Lakers get more wins.
I like Clarkson. And I might love Randle. I went on record before the season saying Randle and Clarkson would be be lakers two best players this year. Most laughed at that of course. And I think of Randle played this season he would have been our best player. Clarkson, Randle, and the potential top pick won’t be good enough to take away our chances at a top three pick next year. Not if Westbrook, Durant, and Ibaka weren’t good enough to prevent the Thunder from getting the third pick and drafting Harden.
Again… I think the Lakers will have the same record as last year give or take and about 50/50 odds of keeping their pick. And I think that’s the smarter and safer play. Signing players to anything other than a max or min deal has proven to be risky. And I don’t see a player this offseason who is someone the lakers should take that risk on. If Whiteside was a FA that is someone I would spend 8-10 million a year on and chance it.
And as we have already been over… There is no FA (or RFA besides Kawai) that is worth the max. I don’t see us as having any thee choice other than to do what we have done the last two years and try to get the best draft pick possible.
And yes on cross training. It’s very important to keep all the muscles and tendons strong. Use of rubber bands has been very effective in keeping players healthy. I also wouldn’t play my players more than twice a week and I would never practice on hardwood. I also would make sure all my players were on HGH. Pretty much just copy the Suns training staff 😉
Thanks KenOak. That first paragraph says everything. Those Fisher years were rough reading with all the Fisher trolling. The world is much more grey than black and white like Aaron paints it.
Although I supported the Lakers tanking from the beginning of the season and wanted them to, I don’t think the team purposedly tanked to start the season. Circumstances and injuries led to a horrible season that in the end prompted the team to possibly consider the value of the pick near the end of the season. They might have attempted to by experimenting with the roster after the All Stars game but I doubt that was the intention at the beginning of the season when folks were healthy. A bad losing record does not necessarily equate tanking. I am however glad that they did not win more than they did.
I also don’t think they should atttempt to tank next season. Like others said, I think it’s just too hard to obtain the top 3 pick. It would require more than half the team to be injured and lots of things to go wrong. All of which I don’t want to see. I much prefer things start going right and the watching the beginning of a rebuild and potential than to watch another horrid season.
I just don’t see another tank season as even a viable plan unless the Lakers convey their pick to the Sixers this year which would be a disastrous outcome. Even then there are enormous pressures for Jim and Mitch to put something better on the court next year.
Always impressed and intrigued when someone has the same specific scouting reports on players. I agree with all of it except Green. If he was 24 I would want him for 6-8 million (now that the cap is going to go way up). But like you say he is 28. That’s the time players decline and if you aren’t already an elite player the decline is steep for players like Green. Although it’s true he is a Spur so he has much less miles on those legs. So let’s say he stays the same player till 31. That still doesn’t fall in line with the earliest Lakers championship window which starts in 2017.
I’m open to a better option than tanking one more season. I haven’t been able to think of one. Do you have a better plan? If so I’m open to it.
bryan S. says
Aaron: Don’t recall you saying Clarkson would be one of the team’s best players this season. Good for you. What I do remember is that you said his ceiling was backup point guard. . . .
Andres Garcia: You are wrong on Randle’s lateral quickness. It’s exceptional; and one of the reasons the Lakers were very high on him after his workout with them. Point I made before, is that at 250 lbs. he likely couldn’t sustain the effort guarding 3s. But here he is now slimmed down to 232 lbs or so, ready to wreak havoc as a power 3. Can’t wait.
Craig W @ 10:46: The big breakthrough in reducing injuries and enhancing performance is the now recognized importance of rest and recovery. It sounds simple, but there is a lot of dated thinking in the world of sports. I see it in my son’s volleyball coach over scheduling practice , I see it in NBA coaches like Thibodeau. Predictably, the smartest organizations are paying attention to minute restriction like never before. Back to backs may be gone as soon as next season, so there is hope there. Your comments about free weights vs. machines and cross-training are good. But things are really exploding training wise beyond that. Correct bio mechanical movement training is really taking off. I know a guy who specializes in bio-mechanical movement training who works with the Warriors and just returned from a trip to instruct the training staffs of the Spurs and Rockets. It’s awesome stuff. ( I haven’t asked him if he’s heard from the Lakers–but I will.)
Todd/rr: I agree that nabbing either Harris or Middleton will be difficult; particularly in light of the cap mushrooming. Resigning these guys for their respective teams at higher than expected contracts might prove savvy. The one hope I have is that the Magic ownership is notoriously cheap. (What do you expect from people who made their fortune chiseling poor folks who sold their multi-level sale products.)
I said both things at the same time. He will be a great back up PG or a bad starting PG and he was the Lakers second best player behind Randle this season. I believe both things to be true. I’m still thinking Randle was our best player even if he didn’t get to show it 😉 And yes… Randle has elite lateral quickness. That’s why Mitch said his best position defensively was at SF where he could step right in and defend as a rookie.
Todd, I hope I’m wrong about Kobe being done.
We’ll know soon enough.
Craig W. says
I didn’t mean to imply that my comments were on the cusp of today’s training methods, just that cross-training and free weights have been around quite awhile. Kareem was really a pioneer in taking care of your body in a different way than was generally practiced at the time.
I was just trying to kick-start a conversation about training and injuries. Thanks to you and Aaron, I think it may be something we can talk about on this blog.
Ha. Isn’t it a little late speculating on Kobe’s career trajectory? It’s like debating if Steve Nash is done. Or if Shaq is done. Kobe was done as soon as he tore his achilles. The irony. His Achilles’ heel was in fact his achilles heel.
Baylor Fan says
Five players from the Heat 2009-2010 team stayed with the team as they won the finals 2 years later. Three of them were starters on that team. The cupboard was not bare when LeBron and Bosh took their talents to South Beach. That could potentially be a model for the Lakers if they find an impact player through free agency or trade and draft well this off-season.
@Aaron, I agree in general that the Lakers will be bad next year, but I figure they are going to get basically half of their roster full of new players. SO there is a chance they get at least a bit better, say 30 wins next season with Kobe occassionally playing well despite his age (if he can stay on the court without injury–big if at this point) and Clarkson/Randle prove to be decent. I still see Clarkson as a SG slasher, that can play a bit of the point. He doesn’t set people up for easy looks very often, most of his assists just came from him dominating the ball and passing to a guy who made a shot. Lin for example actually gets guys easy shots, like Ed Davis et al who got easy dunks and layups off of the PnR’s. But of course Byron is not a “Fan” of the Pick n’ Roll–but apparently he was more than happy to have the team jack up endless amounts of long 2’s the worst shot in basketball.
@Todd, I’m 100% with you, just say NO to Rondo, if they sign him Mitch has his head in the clouds and the FO ineptitude has definitive proof. I don’t even want him for Vet Min, since he’s a headcase, and will just take away time from Clarkson.
I’m predicting 30 wins next season, even if they get some decent FA’s. But mind you there aren’t too many decent free agents that aren’t restricted. IF they could steal Jimmy Butler, I would be very happy, Chicago is notoriously cheap and perhaps they save the money for a resurgent Derick Rose? I would offer him the max, I’m not sold on Drummond b/c his D doesn’t impress me much. Harris from Orlando would be great but he’s another RFA. Basically 2017 season is when we see if the Lakers are going to remain the Clippers of old, or actually turn the corner, but FA are going to have to be part of the equation. No way Clarkson/or Randle are going to be superstars, they may be good players, but even Clarkson only really impresses me as a slasher, his outside shooting needs to improve big time. And we still may not even get a good pick this year for Tanking “experimenting with the worst players on our roster as starters—Kelly/Sacre” give me a break!
Aaron, I agree whole heartedly* but I keep seeing these posts about a “healthy Kobe” next year saving the day somehow and feel compelled to point out that the earth is, in fact, not flat.
* and even appreciate your grim humor about this subject.
I have brought up the injury/training thing a few times, but some of it leads to places that are not Craig’s preferred destinations. The Buss FO in 2011 cut loose Alex McKechnie, who is a consultant for a company that works with many teams, including Dallas and San Antonio. ESPN ran a piece suggesting that the Lakers are behind the times on injury analytics. but The KBros recently said that Vitti told them that the Lakers are trying some new things. I have no idea whether the Lakers are behind the injury/training curve or not, but there is some evidence that they may be.
As to the East/West thing: Philadelphia will be adding Embiid, their own pick, and has a 17% chance of adding the Lakers pick. In New York, I think Phil, right or wrong, is going to try to improve the Knicks quickly. I expect that he will sign Monroe and will take a run at Wesley Matthews. So, I think the Lakers may have the hardest road to improve short-term among the four worst teams.
That being the case, I think the Lakers should take a run at Harris or Middleton, and maybe Monroe and/or Asik. I would also look at Kanter in spite of the D issues. But if they can’t get any young guys like that, (Asik is 29 bit low-mileage) then I would probably tank again, and this time with no-names.
But I doubt that the FO will do that. If they miss on the young FAs, I think they will probably once again try to shore up the roster with veterans on short (1-2 year) deals, so they can
a) Try to send Kobe out on a competitive team that he likes playing on. In this scenario, I think you could see Rondo here for something like 1/10.
b) As always, maintain “flexibility.”
Trust me… My head is killing me from hitting it over and over against the forum blue and gold wall. But we need to have hope that one day our heads will burst through the wall and we can actually solely discuss the real questions and topics surrounding the basketball landscape. That’s the problem with too many people messing up the discussion. Time debating if climate change exsists is time not discussing what to actually do about it.
I’m surprised you like Monroe. Don’t you think PFs who can’t spread the floor and can’t defend the PNR are extinct? I would rather have Kevin Love.
bryan S. says
rr: Yes, you have brought up the horrendously stupid move by Jim Buss to fire Alex Mckechnie. But unless I am mistaken, you haven’t really discussed PT/training/nutrition before per se. It looks here like you are more interested in taking another swipe at Craig than getting a discussion going. You’re better than that.
Here’s a blog post by Austin Einhorn, the trainer I mentioned above,that is more philosophical than technical about the brave new world of training that speaks to the importance of being open-minded to new ideas:
Aaron: Climate change: Indeed. Many feel my favorite problem does not exist and many others feel even if it does exist, “there is nothing we can do about it”.
R: Sacrilege! The Earth is flat ! And the Lakers are the center of the Earth and the Universe.
rr: “Try to send Kobe out on a competitive team that he likes playing on”: This does not seem to work in the trade machine.
I don’t think I’ve read anything here on FB&G where someone is saying that Kobe is going to come back and be a white knight next year. But, I have a hard time believing that next year”s team *with* a healthy Kobe, and Randle, plus a top 5 pick, and a better Jordan Clarkson along with Swaggy P will be worse than last years 22 wins. If that’s the case, then how the hell are we going to be a bottom 3 record?
Chris J says
My reading comprehension is just fine, Aaron.
You like to play things both ways, so that you’re always “right.” A genius in your own mind, but others here see through it.
You were the one posting the comments that stated LeBron’s signing with the Lakers last summer was a fait accompli — look it up, we’ll wait. You even wrote “I was wrong. I was dead wrong” after LeBron signed in Cleveland. Yet now you want to tell people you never said where LeBron would go? Please. It’s all there in black and white.
yeah, well, the Lakers are still cooler than the Clippers. so there.
rr: Yes, you have brought up the horrendously stupid move by Jim Buss to fire Alex Mckechnie. But unless I am mistaken, you haven’t really discussed PT/training/nutrition before per se. It looks here like you are more interested in taking another swipe at Craig than getting a discussion going. You’re better than that.
As I made pretty clear in the post, training etc. is not an area where I have much of a knowledge base, so I would probably be more of an observer in such a discussion. As to Craig, considering how he often says that he does not want to talk about what media guys, especially ESPN guys, say, and that he does not want to bag on the FO, pointing those things out is not what I would call a swipe. I would presume that while training is interesting in and of itself, that most people here would be interested in how that relates to the Lakers–and the ESPN piece, by Tom Haberstroh, which I linked here, dealt with that in detail, although it is slanted.
I would concede bottom three will be tough, with or without this mythical “Healthy Kobe” people speak of.
So a few things
– when the cap jumps so do max contracts and max guys will be asking for 30mil per year not 20 ….. so we can maybe get 1-2 max guys in 2017 not 3 … but maybe that gets us anthony davis, kd,or love si cw certain teams will be wary of signing a guy to a 30mil per deal
– middleton and green are nowhere near worth 10mil per year – 5-7max – both have other star players creating space for them – neither get or create double teams … we need players who can do that
– a rondo led team needs shooting … which we dont have …. but rondo is still good but not a max player … hes played himself into a sub 10mil per contract but id say hes a lock to go to us or new york in FA .. NY with a bigger need at the position and probably more of a fit … id be ok with paying him 7 on a 1-2 year deal as we will need to get to the floor and he might take a short term deal to prove his value
– anyway we could get butler would be ideal, deandre covers what randle cant which is rim protection …and after that we need to hit on useful undervalued role players like we did in the past with guys lile matt barnes and shannon brown … id like to see farmar return once again in a backup role to clarkson if we run with clarkson as our pg
So taking a look at the FA landscape im pretty sure we will keep our ball and play in what will be a ridiculous 2016 FA period where we could easily sign like 6 quality guys to 8 figure deals
Interesting guys in 2015 FA period
– paul milsap, jae croweder (rfa), brook lopez , jimmy butler (rfa) , love, rondo, chandler , monroe, green, josh smith, roy hibbert, deandre jordan, marc gasol, dragic, norris cole (rfa) , t harris, thomas robinson, gerald green, brandon wright, aldridge, lopez, matthews , gay, leonard (rfa) , amir johnson
We essentially need 1-2 first tier guys so im sure we will go after love,gasol,aldridge first and outside of maybe love if he wants to bolt cold cleveland we dont get a guy there anf wpuld want to keep space to the following year
But if we look at tier 2 guys like lopez,hibbert,milsap,rondo,josh smith, rudy gay dragic amd matthews – if we can get them for below value – 10ish for lopez hibbert gay and dragic or sub 10 for rondo, smith and matthews i say we do it as it gets us a solid player at the position for what will be a bargain come 2017 prices
I say most likely leonard amd butler will simply sign their rfa term and becomes full ufas in a crazy 2016 FA period which i will cover in my next post
I also lile guys like green who could fit a need – shooting and athleticism, crowder developing 2 way player who we can get at maybe the 5 mil or less range
Craig W. says
Shaun, your point about the max increasing is correct, but that also means that the Lakers may very well ‘overpay’ this summer to lock players up with contracts that will seem average next summer. Therefore, expect to hear about how we overpaid for “X” across the landscape this summer. Things are changing again in the NBA and we will now see how the Lakers handle this change, before it actually occurs.
Haha. Look at the time stamp again. I wrote I was dead wrong and that my source was wrong before LBJ actually signed with Cle. This is because my source reported to me before LBJ publicly signed that he would indeed be choosing the Cavs and not the Lakers like he told me. Me saying I was dead wrong was in reference to believing my source. As I said many times on this site I couldn’t take credit for a “LBJ to the lakers prediction” if it indeed happened because it wasn’t an Aaron prediction. It was just me passing along insider info to this site. I said that over and over again. Again. Reading comprehension.
– I’d have no problem allowing Kobe to try to get his 6th w/ the other L. A. team. He’d be an even bigger hero. Hey I’m unselfish like that. A little creativity and cooperation can go a long way.
Craig W. says
How big hearted of you!
Over the last several years, the Lakers have been absolutely horrible at drafting quality players. Jordan Clarkson has been a rare exception and the results on Julius Randle are yet unknown, but look at some of the players the Lakers could have drafted – Paul Milsap, Monta Ellis, Isaiah Thomas, Mo Williams, Amir Johnson, Danny Green, Patty Mills, Patrick Beverley, Gerald Green, Danny Granger, Arron Afflalo, Anderson Verajao, Carl Landry, Marc Gasol, Lou Williams, Nate Robinson, Luis Scola, Trevor Ariza, Jarrett Jack, Jodie Meeks, Leandrinho Barbosa, Rasual Butler, Carlos Boozer, Wilson Chandler, C.J. Miles, Tiago Splitter, Matt Barnes.
Chris J says
Yes, Aaron… It’s always your “source” who was wrong. Never you.
Do us all a favor and keep posting your “LBJ is on HGH” comments over and over again, like you repeatedly were doing at the start of the season to the point where Darius was close to banning you. This site is so much better when you’re dormant.
Or was LBJ on PEDs your “source” too? Same one who led you to say Riley was coming back, LBJ and Melo absolutely would be a package deal, Dwight Howard, LBJ and Derrick Rose were finished after their injuries, High school arenas are OK for NBA games or God only knows how many other stupid comments have dropped under the name “Aaron” over the years?
Note to all: when “Aaron” says somethjng that’s ridiculously wrong, it’s not really “Aaron” — it’s his source. The real Aaron is smarter than everyone — just ask him.
Aaron does say some goofy things. Some beyond goofy. But to his defense he is quite knowledgable about the game. If you filter out the ego boosting comments and just focus in his x’s and 0’s I feel the good out weighs the goofy.
Just my thoughts
No top tier player will come here as long as scott is here. I can’t wait for this to play out.
Renato Afonso says
Ko, I don’t recall Aaron discussing anything but team building, PED’s and his wrong inside sources…
Aaron’s eyeball scouting acumen is very good; but I don’t agree with his various narratives. bryan s is also good at eyeball scouting, and so are a couple of other people here.
No top tier player will come here as long as scott is here. I can’t wait for this to play out.
Perhaps. But one of D’Antoni’s main jobs here was to connect with Dwight Howard and to get Howard* to buy into his fast-paced P-n-R-one in/four out-bail-on-post-ups system. D’Antoni failed miserably on both counts, and he also failed to connect with Carmelo Anthony in New York. Not all of that is on D’Antoni, but connecting with temperamental star players is not something that he appears to be good at So, it doesn’t make much sense to clown Scott for not being able to recruit stars while also being a big MDA fan.
The Lakers will have trouble with FA recruitment until the team is better…but they seem to think that the best way for the team to get better is FA recruitment.
*It is worth noting that Howard has played extremely well in his nine playoff games in Houston.
The Lakers commentary has basically just turned into endless hoping for draft picks, hoping for nameless guys to show up here even though there is little reason for them to do so at this point. Beyond the City of LA there is little to offer here. Media is far more nationalized/globalized than it used to be, so superstars don’t need a “big market” to get AD money. KD does fine making huge bucks being a superstar in a small market. Generally speaking the top tier guys are going to get paid max money regardless where they go, and they will get AD money regardless of where they play. So basically the only real draw is maybe 2nd tier guys. Lebron isn’t going to hurt for ad money b/c he plays in Cleveland.
The roster that basically gets blown up every year isn’t going to draw any real talent. I think a bunch of you are delusional if you think Clarkson/Randle and unamed 1st rd draft picks are a draw for anyone. It’s more than obvious that good players like playing with establish players, probably b/c they know that most top 10 draft picks end up just being role players. You don’t get Kobe’s/Lebron’s or Duncans very often and OK thunder’s draft was a true anomaly. Byron Scott is not a draw for anyone buy Kobe. After next season the Lakers will just have yet another year of being real good at losing. But characters like Rondo will want to come to LA to get overpaid for their services. I’ve never had so little interest in Laker basketball, tell me when 2017 is here. Rooting for losing and draft picks just seems an utter waste of time, who watches sports for that? I would rather watch the 1980’s Lakers vs. Boston finals over and over again then sit through an entire game of “experimenting” with Kelly, Sacre, Clarkson, Ronnie Price etc etc. Clarkson has shown some worth but he is big time over-rated a this point, he wouldn’t start for another team in the NBA at this point at PG, maybe a handful of teams at SG. He’s the new golden boy b/c he was the only silver lining at the end of the season, now we sit back and see how 17% probability works out for us in the draft.
The only way we could be a bottom three team next year would be if Kobe suddenly retires, we draft someone who plays overseas next year or misses the year due to injury, and we sign no free agents of note. Our best chance to keep next year’s pick, as others have stated, is the 17 percent chance we lose this one.
More than that, though, to be that bad would involve telegraphing our intentions well in advance. That could be a real perception problem. The org skated this year on the tanking/not tanking question, thanks in large part to Kobe’s injury (and, to a lesser extent, Randle’s). Having to answer those questions, even before training camp, would invite some real corrosion of the brand.
Guess I was trying to be nice.
tanks for ruining my Sunday. Next you will tell me I will never win the lottery and my golf game won’t improve with my age.
Tanks a lot
Karen, we get it you hate Scott and are a big Pringles fan. Imo they both were terrible and so was potato. Why can’t lakers hire a young and upcoming coach like brad Stevens or Steve Kerr instead of these loser retreads who haven’t accomplished anything in years if at all.
we actually did draft Marc Gasol – we just traded him in the pau deal and got us 2 championships
we also drafted bynum – who while he played in like 2009-2010 was arguably the best center in the league and was a big part of the team b4 we lost phil and other coaches had no grip on him + injuries
As for our pick next year – cleveland won – weren’t last, chicago won – weren’t last …. at least we could still mybe get a top 3 pick … hence the lottery aspect of it – maybe if we do the right things the basketball gods will forgive us for what we did to Lamar ….. Personally, I found our mojo changed right after the veto … remember lamar turned down maybe an extra 15mil to stay in LA — Karma got us on the backside of that deal
Also, Clarkson will be a 1st team rookie player … he played very well the 2nd half once he started getting minutes, and who knows maybe randle will have a blake effect on the team after sitting out
My hope is that we just start building the team with at least 1 long term player signed next year as opposed to like 10 guys on 1 year contracts …. I’d like to have guys we can root for
I’m sorry my opinions on the game bother you so much. I
would first look to see why they upset you so. Then I would stop drinking so much haterade.
… In addition… Yes… I’m sorry serious injuries alter careers. It’s very sad. Kobe, Dwight, and Rose were never the same. I’m not some genius for predicting that. Anyone with half a brain knew that. And I guess you’re the only one on earth who doesn’t think LBJ uses HGH.
What narratives do you not agree with? The only one I thought we disagreed with was the tanking next year plan. But then I read you thought it was the best option.
Lakafan: young up and coming coaches have choices about where to go. The reason the behind the extension was to allow the FO/Jim to hide behind Kobe for two years and not have to make any real decisions. True to form the Lakers have treaded water for two years while no substantive decisions about the direction of the franchise has been made.
Do you think this situation would be attractive to Kerr or Stevens? Of course not they went to organizations that have real roadmaps and with FOs that are executing them.
Laka: The coaching decisions have been horrendous. Scott is good as a stop gap. The difference with the Celtic situation is substantial. They have youth and picks and they got a young coach to grow with that. We have none of the above, so hence Scott makes sense within the insanity of the situation. If we get a different roster or a FA who wants another coach, I will be the first to help schedule the Byron going away party. Until then – Byron it is. Also – Byron gives some of the strategic thinkers a target. As in “if Byron just changed his ways, the Lakers would be awesome”.
Karen: The irony of your statement is that nobody came to the Lakers during MD’s 2 year tenure and he drove away a whole group (DH, PG,AJ).
tankyou: Yes – very depressing. The sky has fallen. And it is very difficult to get out of this hole we are in. As you state, mortgaging years in the tank is no panacea, and it certainly is not genius.
KenOak: It gets worse. Spurs up 2-1, Love just got hurt, and we are a GS choke away from another Spurs title. And since this is going to be GS’ first serious trip to the playoffs, who do you think Vegas favors in a SA vs. GS match up?
I hear you guys that the organization stinks from top to bottom right now, but when brown and mda were hired, team was a contender. I understand giving Scott the job last summer but the brown and mda hires were absolutely horrendous decisions. Of course this all goes back to the guy in charge jimmy boy!!
I couldn’t agree more. As I’ve stated before it disgusts me due to the CBA we have to tank for years to try and win another championship. Just so backwards in order to get better you need to try and be bad first.
Instead of 2017, we’ll wake you in 2027.
By that time, you’ll be needing a new tag and you will have missed out on all the fun.
Have a nice nap.
Looks can be deceiving, but with the way in which Love ran off of the court and straight to the locker room after suffering that shoulder injury, the look wasn’t a good one. With Chicago, more than likely, on the horizon, losing Love could be critical. Thompson can provide energy (offensive rebounds) and better defense, but over a 7 gm series, a floor stretcher like Love could prove critical against bigs – Pau, Noah and Gibson – who are not use to defending on the perimeter.
This is the Lakers way of allowing Byron to have a say in his roster. It is also the closest thing he will get to a public vote of confidence:
@Mid-Wilshire, Although I’m very pessimistic for next season being anything remotely positive. I actually feel we have a good chance in 2017 to start turning the corner a bit, not playoffs good–but perhaps we start to put together a good enough team to sniff at the playoffs by then.
I doubt I’m going to miss any “fun” in 2016. I’ll tune in to check out Kobe a few times and see how he does with the new shoulder. I do want to see Randle play a bit as well, to see what he is about and if he might be a foundational piece for us. But I watched 60+ lakers games this season, and the Sacre/Kelly crap about made me sick. I was wishing for No-D Boozer, since he still looks like a NBA player on Offense at least. Watching guys that are lucky to be 3rd stringers start for the Lakers franchise was just irritating. Calling it “experimenting” was just garbage–who in their right mind would have though Kelly/Sacre should start? That’s when I got utterly disgusted. I was OK with us fighting and trying to be competitive although outmatched. But purposefully putting the worst players on the court and DNP the best players you have left, was just Throwing games. For me it felt like we went through a month of NO INTEGRITY to the game of basketball, not truly trying to win, by throwing out your worst players and sitting the best guys you have left. I know a lot of people don’t care, but giving 100% and trying to win regardless of the roster or situation is what I like about sports, losing on purpose, made me ill.
But whatever, I guess draft picks are worth throwing games, because even though I don’t care for Byron Scott, I’m quite sure he knew they had a better chance of winning with Boozer/J. Hill then with Kelly and Sacre–before he started doing that crap.
Im not opposed to a third year of tanking, but if the only way we get to keep our pick in 2016 is if we have a worse year than this one, then I really dont think we’ll be keeping our pick. With Randle back and (fingers crossed) our top 5 rookie this year, our team will be better than this year. Of course, that goes out the window if kobe keeps shooting 20 times a game and making only 5 or 6 like this year (which would be extremely sad to see a second year in a row.) So are you saying that Kobe will play the entire year next year and keep chucking it up? If so, would that mean that he loves the Lakers so much that he’s willing to be villain #1 just so we can keep our pick, or that he’s just so blinded by his machismo that he won’t give up his alpha dog status?
I actually think a more realistic scenario is we get better next year. We still miss the playoffs, but we continue to build a good cast of players with a potentially deadly starting 5 of Clarkson, Randle, our rookie and two big time FA’s in 2016. And I think we may make a move or two to guarantee us one or two first round picks next year. I really dont think we can tank next year, and Im not saying that bc of some obligation to the fans or eanting to prove to FA’s that we are better. I just cant see how next year our roster will be worse, but then again I may be completely off. Your thoughts, Aaron?
I get it i am pegged as a scott hater but this forum goes on and on about these big name players coming here. Its not going to happen. P.s. hope j.r. smith gets banned for 10 games. Cavaliers picked him up because he was a thug … well they got what they asked for
After the 8/30 game against Sacto, Kobe played eight games before he got hurt again. Here are his FG/FGA for those games:
As I stated before tanking next year is just not reasonable unless the Lakers convey their pick to the Sixers this year.
Assuming the Lakers keep their pick, Randle isn’t a total flop, Clarkson plays at least as well as he does this year, Kobe is as healthy as can be expected, and the Lakers sign a guy or two who is capable of being a quality starter next year then I expect the Lakers to be at least watchable next year. At this point I would set that as the low expectation for next year but I could be considerably more optimistic after seeing things playing out a bit past the draft.
With all the negativity over this season I find it refreshing to look out and see that the Lakers have a number of positive signs going forward. They have he cap space to sign guys, they have draft picks, they have a good supporting cast of role players, Clarkson has been a great find, hopes are high on Randle, really it does look like good things are ahead for the Lakers. 🙂
I understand your frustration with last year’s team. Actually, I share it.
But I think it’s a bit early to be either gloomily pessimistic on the one hand or outrageously optimistic on the other. We just don’t know what next year’s team will look like. One way or the other, I’m sure it will look very different.
I’m almost certain that it won’t be a playoff team nor, in all likelihood, will it be a .500 team. Frankly, I’d be moderately satisfied with a 32-36 wins season next year.
But I think that we should wait until the draft takes place. (That could, possibly, have significant ramifications.) And we should also wait to see how the FA season turns out.
After that, we’ll all know better. But doom-and-gloom pessimism at this point is entirely premature just as unfounded optimism is.
It’s a process. Let’s wait and see how things turn out.
There is certainly something to be said for optimism, but at the same time, your post just underscores tankyou’s point. The reality is that there are very few concrete reasons to be optimistic about the future for the Lakers; a lot of optimism is based on hopes about players whose ceilings are as yet unknown and/or who are as yet un-acquired. Contrast this with, say, Utah. Also, most of the other really bad teams in the league have more to point at in terms of positives (one guy who could be All-Star caliber or already is, several upcoming draft picks, some recent good moves by the FO, a young coach who looks good, etc). Believing in the Lakers at this point means believing that:
a) The market and the brand are still a really big deal. As I and others, including tankyou, have pointed out, this is questionable. The media landscape and other things thereof have changed.
b) The Jim Buss FO can make a string of very successful decisions and catch some breaks. They have shown little ability to do the first and have not as yet had luck on their side on the second.
In terms of next year, people anticipating improvement are counting heavily on Randle, who will be 21 in November and will be, in effect, a rookie; and Kobe, who will be 37 in August and has suffered three straight season-ending injuries.
– The Laker braintrust has finally made public their plans for the team next season so you guys can ease up on your ideas. It will be Kobe celebration season… read more here:
Anyone else hear the news about ADs extension … average is 28mil per year ….. 30 is the new 20
I’m at this point more optimistic than I am pessimistic. A dark cloud might float over my head should the Lakers lose their pick. I could become even more dour if the Lakers decide to fill their roster with 1 year contract guys yet again. Although I find that unlikely with the changing cap situation making this a good year to lock in a few guys and the Lakers have cap room to do that. But I tend to think it more likely a few things will go right.
I wasn’t a big fan of drafting Randle. I still have doubts about him being an elite player but I do recognize he does have tangible skills. Assuming he is healthy I would assume he will be a positive factor.
The market may not cough up the next Shaq but, I don’t see this as a block to improvement. This year the Lakers basically had few if any guys who should be starting. If the Lakers go out and sign guys who should be starting it will be a significant change.
As much as the F.O. gets chewed out for not making the right choices but I do believe they have gone out and found a few diamonds in the rough. I like the addition of Black whom I see as likely being on the roster next year. I think they have done fairly well recently drafting. Again I’m not very high on Randle although it is more a point about ceiling and most posters disagree with me on this so I don’t see the reason for other posters being down on this point. Kelly gets a lot of flack even though his rookie season was one of the better performances of his rookie class. He has been horrible playing out of position but, he has done well in what his actual position is. Clarkson has been the highlight of this year. I don’t know if he will progress to become a truly elite talent but for a guy they bought the draft right to in the second round I really have to say they did a good job. So with a top 5 pick and another late 1st rounder nad an early 2nd rounder I don’t think it is unreasonable to think the Lakers will draft well.
I don’t want to sound overly optimistic. I’m not predicting championship banners next year but, I think the organization is most likely going head in the right direction. Things could always go horribly wrong but, I’m leaning more positive then negative at this time.
I would pay Anthony Davis the max in a heartbeat. I would take him over K. Durant any day of the week. AD is just an amazing 2 way player in a manner no one else really is right now. Lebron still has his moments, but he doesn’t play the lock down defense that he did a few years ago. Plus Davis is what 23 years old, its sick how good that guy is, and he clearly is getting better with developing more of an outside game. I hope AD wants out and the Lakers trade anything we have to get him…but not likely to happen.
“Kobe celebration season” makes “sense” in a way.
Certainly reinforces my hunch that the kids are more interested in cash flow than winning.
And, I’ve long felt – for reasons beyond dollars and cents – that the rebuild starts after Kobe leaves the stage.
@rr: regardings your post about kobes shooting:
Do you know the assists/minutes numbers of those games?!? Would be pretty interesting to have those to put it into context 🙂 greets 🙂
R – And, I’ve long felt – for reasons beyond dollars and cents – that the rebuild starts after Kobe leaves the stage.
I think this draft will be very telling on when the rebuild starts. If the Lakers miss out on the pick altogether then the likelyhood is that they have not hit bottom yet. While their record my improve slightly, due to more one year vets on the roster, the lack of a young building block talent will be crushing for the future. This is the doomsday scenario where Jim signs Rondo in a desperate attempt to assuage angry fans, sponsors and partners
However, a hitting on a major piece like Towns or Okafor gives the Lakers immdeiate talent/production at a position of need and legitimate hope for the future. Mudiay and Russell are not immediate contributors and the Lakers will have to play the pray/hope game that they deliver.
I see next years team being much more fun to watch with young up and coming players (Randle, Clarkson, draft pick) but delivering the same win totals of this season. Even if they win a five more games I think the Knicks, TWolves and even the sixers will leap frog the Lakers. 19 and 20 year old rookies don’t win many games especially if as I hope the lakers play washed up veterans ahead of them. Not only do I think that helps their development but it also keeps our win totals down.
Again… I would love to start trying to sign free agents and improve the team for next year if there was a player worth signing. But unless the Spurs don’t match a max offer sheet for Leanard it’s not gonna happen. So even if it’s only a twenty percent chance we keep our pick next season it’s a twenty percent chance we unfortunately are forced to make because of the draft system and the CBA. I wish we lived in a basketball world where it made sense to improve your team in order to win a championship. You would think that’s how the world should work.
Calvin Chang says
Aaron’s right. Have to tank one more season and hope to draft Thon Maker. This kid is a mutant. 7ft with guard agility. If he stays healthy and develops some strength, he could be better than KD.
Tank you – you ain’t the only one who’d pay AD the max. Given the opportunity, teams will fight like wild dogs for the privilege.
In any given year, the NBA can be broken down as follows: First there are usually no more than 3 teams that have a decent chance at winning the championship. Next, there are about 5 more teams who are pretender contenders. They usually get into the second round, but they really have no chance at winning it all. Long time posters will remember how I used to call the 2012 Lakers, the “6th” best team in the league. They were a pretender contender. The 98-99 Lakers were in this category too, so the key when you are in this category is what direction the arrow is pointing. The next group includes the bulk of the teams. This group runs from the 9th or so best team in the league, all the way down to 25th. In other words, no chance at a title, not even a pretender contender, but also not in the bottom 5 (tank territory). The Hawks have spent the bulk of their existence in this category. Where the “tankers” are correct is that there is absolutely no benefit of being in this category, unless you have a firm plan and ability to gradually move up in the world. In a true tankers eyes, being a borderline playoff team, or a team that wins 40 games and misses the playoffs does nothing except lower your draft pick. I am not a tanker, but I understand their view. When someone says they are “optimistic”, that is a relative term. I will be optimistic, when I see a path back to contention. Showing me a path to 40 wins does not make me feel optimistic, unless it is a step in a larger plan. That said – I will make a prediction: This summer – people will say next year’s team will be better than expected, feisty, surprising, and yes – I see above the first use of my favorite word – “fun”.
That’s the best nickname ever especially because Thon Maker is probably a mutant.
I have said a couple of times that I will ride the tank if there is a Shaq/Robinson/LeBron type guy in this draft. If Maker is that level of guy, then OK. Also, if Davis re-ups in NO, that will be a thing to watch as well.
Darius Soriano says
RE Thon Maker – A couple of people who I spoke to at the Nike Hoop Summit said that Maker was skilled but seemed to lack “feel” for the game and its fundamentals at times. Like he seemed tentative in how he should move/cut off the ball. Also noted that in one of the game he fumbled multiple passes and that the physicality some played him with seemed to bother him. Just noting that, as Maker develops, this will be something to watch. He’s now attending a prep school in Canada and it remains to be seen what college in the US he will attend (if he comes to the US at all for college).
Watched some video on Maker and it was fun to see. High light reels though are just that. Taking a peek at draftexpress and nbadraft shows him currently pegged as a late 1st rounder. Not exactly a mortal lock as “The One”. Even if he was, tanking an entire season, having the worst record in the league, while competing with teams who are trying to lose, only gives you a 25% chance of actually getting that guy. Tanking is more about improving the odds of acquiring good young talent than seeking a single particular player.
lil pau says
Cynical post of the day, but I can’t be the only one thinking it:
Does anyone wish to speculate what the implication of Love’s injury – he’s now apparently out for the entirety of the playoffs – means in terms of his likelihood of hitting FA? I think it makes it less likely– if Cleveland had flailed out of the playoffs with a healthy squad, there might be internal discord and a desire to shuffle the deck, however with Love out, I can see the ‘unfinished business’ narrative in play should they lose (and of course staying is only more attractive if they manage to win without him).
I realize that some might find this post unpalatable– but I would also consider accepting human suffering on a great scale for another Lakers championship, so I fully admit that I am a terrible person. I am a fan though, I’ve got that on my side.
Looks like there’s a chance the Lakers will sign Rondo. Ugh
IMO he’s not worth it at any price. We can pay low for another pg who can probably provide the same type of production or even better without the headache and potential drama with BS and KB. There’s not enough ball time for Rondo, Kobe, a developing JC, and possibly another pg depending on the draft pick. The development of our young players and rookies are much more important at this point than babysitting a petulent pg pass his prime who’s rated 40th overall among the pgs in the league.
There was an article somewhere in cyberspace speculating Love might find Boston a less appealing destination now that one of their players tried to rip his arm off …
Love ruled out leaving the cavs next season in multiple interviews. He publicly stated he wasn’t going to opt out for next season. So I think its pretty likely he takes the heap of money and gives the Cavs another go next year. So 2016-17 is really his free agency year. Also multiple people here have called him basically average–which is a joke. Statistically he is far from average even this year, especially the 2nd part of the season. I agree he’s not a superstar, but he’s bloody good on offense without a doubt. His mediocre defense shouldn’t be held against him that much, lots of these superstars play mediocre defense. Kevin Durant is not a defensive juggernaut, “Dame” Lillards defense is laughable much of the time. Thats why I still give the nod to Lebron/Anthony Davis since they still are 2 way players. Most of the big names in the NBA currently just play offense, your lucky if you get average defense from them.
That’s why I think Anthony Davis is the best young player out there, beyond Durant, and with way more upside. But the media and fans really don’t pay that much attention to defense, if you can score 20ppg basically you are given a pass. Harden played no defense last season and he was consider an MVP candidate. He does seem to be trying more on D now, but last year was an utter joke, he basically stood around and occasionally gambled on steals.
For those interested in the Rondo speculation, Brett Pollakoff of NBC Sports (quoting Kevin Ding) reports that the Lakers FO has cooled somewhat to the idea of signing Rajon. If they do sign him, it would only be at “a certain low price” which, I think, would hardly make Rondo ecstatic.
Here’s the link: http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/04/28/report-lakers-interested-in-signing-rajon-rondo-as-a-free-agent-only-at-a-certain-low-price/
You’re saying the player who has put up the greatest advanced stats of anyone his age in the history of the game “is the best young player out there?” Interesting. The guy who this year was the best player in the world from start to finish? Hmmmmm Maybe the Lakers should think about trying to sign him. What’s the name of your site? http://www.lastmanonbandwaggon.com?
For someone who cares so much about defense (rightfully so) it’s weird you don’t realize Love is average. Listen… I love Kevin’s ability to spread the floor. But that’s the only thing I want him on my team for. But don’t get me wrong. That’s a big deal. I just don’t want to give a stretch four who shoots 35 percent from three a max deal. He is an overrated passer and rebounder.
bryan S. says
Thon Maker: The reviews out of the Nike camp this year weren’t superlative as Darius noted. The guy everyone should be excited about is Australian, Ben Simmons. He *is* worth a shameless, filled with loathing, 76er kind of tank. He is the next great three. I’ll ride shotgun on the tank wagon (if we lose our top five pick) for this kid. (Already filled with loathing at the prospect…)
Calvin Chang says
That’s why Lakers need to tank one more season. Can’t go wrong with either Thon Maker or Ben Simmons. Both are genetic mutations. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sam Hinkie tanked one more year, got either of these mutants to team with Russell, Embiid, Nerlens, Saric + free agent max stud to form an instant contender.
Baylor Fan says
Love got injured by an exaggerated arm pin while battling for the ball under the basket. Arms get pinned but not yanked all the time. Now that his shoulder has been ripped out of the socket, he will be very susceptible to having it happen again. How comfortable will Love be working around the basket in the future? Will he still be an elite rebounder? Maybe it would be better if he did stay in Cleveland another year.
Byron’s stache better not be re-signed next year. That thing counted for 10 losses by itself.
The Aaron right above me with the Lin comment is not the real “Aaron”. Not that I kno who the real Aaron is.
@Aaron, well I’ll just disagree with you that Kevin Love is “average”. Most folks would disagree with you including probably just about every GM in the league. I would say Jordan Hill is about average, although his defense is no better than Loves he is a worse rebounder and clearly not in his league as a passer or shooter. Love’s PER was still nearly 19 despite having a lousy first half of the season. He didn’t shoot “35” from three, he shot 36.7% so nearly 37% from 3 point land which is still above average, and far above average for a PF. He shot 80% from the line which is still nice to have from a big. Its irrelevant given he’s not coming here anyway, I wouldn’t even want him to be a Laker at the max anyway–but at 10mill a year, definitely.
Regarding Anthony Davis, I’ve been a fan of his game since the beginning. But per Forum rules until the Lakers became a joke this year, attempted to not speak about other hypothetical (big time long shot) players coming to the Lakers. The forum devolved into FA talk earlier than ever before–b/c the season was over earlier than ever before–with nothing much worth talking about except 10 game burst of Clarkson looking good.
I still think there is a good chance we are worse next year, although have a better season just b/c we won’t have half the squad injured. Our bench was excellent this year, but no way we keep Lin/Ed Davis–both who were generally exceptional for bench players. LIn averaged the most assists in the League from the bench. Ed Davis put up some great numbers in short minutes and showed defensive prowess. Unless we get a great defensive Center/SF its likely our defense is going to suck big time again next year, possibly get worse. No way Kobe plays any D at this point, those days are over, Clarksons D is not too good, hopefully he improves but he needs to put on some muscle. Randle is just a big question mark. And whatever rookie we get with the Rockets pick, or a possibly top 5 pick is not going to be a defensive stalwart as a rookie–that almost never happens. Most rookie bigs get eaten up big time, b/c they realize they aren’t the biggest, strongest, most athletic any longer, typically they need years to develop.
A sneaker free agent Tristan Thompson from the Cavs might be somebody we can ply away, although it sounds like he wants 11mill plus? But he plays great D and is a super strong rebounder, but offensively limited. Regardless I would rather have him than watch Hill jack up mid-range 2’s for another year and be sieve on D. Hopefully they don’t exercise Hills option and tell Wesley good luck. At this point may as well clear the board, hope they get rid of “Swaggy” Young as well he was worthless this year, we won’t miss his 1 assist per game and volume bad shooting–he his funny though.
J C says
Wow, Spurs Clips series/gameast night.
Talk about entertaining.
The NBA is alive and well despite the hiatus of its darling Laker franchise.
J C says
Meant to type ‘game ‘last night’
Baylor Fan says
Please delete the 7:36 comment by “Baylor Fan”. I am honored to have the handle plagiarized but that was done in remarkably poor taste.
Darius Soriano says
Don’t know how big of a loser you have to be to impersonate someone else while making racist comments, but it’s pretty damn big. I’ve banned the IP address those comments came from so hopefully that clears it up. Sorry to Calvin, KO, Baylor Fan, and Aaron.
JC – “NBA is alive and well dispite … hiatus … of Lakers …”
True, and I think that’s the idea.
So you do think Love is average 🙂 If the Max is 23 million and the min is a couple million…. And youth think he is worth 10 million… We agree after all. I love PFs who stretch the floor so under certain circumstances like I have already gone over the cap and I need to resign him or I only have ten million left and this is the last offseason I’ll be under the cap at all… Under those situations I’ll pay him ten million.
Calvin Chang says
Thanks Darius. I was wondering what those weird comments were about. On another note: Very entertaining game last night. As Pop said, it could have gone either way. But what was Austin Rivers thinking when he did not box out Danny Green? That’s basketball 101. If Austin boxed Danny Green out and Clips got the rebound, they had a prayer to launch a Hail Mary shot. Instead, he looked liked he didn’t know what to do during the rebound situation.
Maybe Glenn should worry more about teaching his kid the fundamentals instead of whining about all the calls! Overrated coach and obviously a terrible gm… His biggest off season signing is riding pine!
” … Whining about all the calls …”
well, it’s annoying and a given I guess it’s a tactic to play the refs for the next game.
Apart from that, there used to be a saying in boxing that referred to a challenger vs. champion bout: in order to win the belt, you have to belt the champ.
Regarding the Clippers, Rivers does bear the shoulder of the blame as he is the GM of the team and hand selected his bench players. Moves like contracting his own son are not helping him. I think Balmer needs to have a 1 to 1 with him this offseason and have him focus only on coaching. Then immediately release Austin Rivers.
Anon: Regarding the Clippers. The Clippers are capped out and have a very poor bench. Heck thie starting SG and SF are iffy. They blew the Bledsoe trade as theyshould have ended up with at least one solid starter and did not — Reddick is average at best.
I have watched this series closely and am surprised at how ‘below elite level’ Paul is. He’s a nice player but not elite. His inability to control the last 5 minutes of the games is very telling.
While I am amazed with Blake’s athletic ability he should not be asked to create at the end of games as he ends up putting up a bad shot or turning the ball over. I put that on Paul who should have the ball and pass it to Blake only when he’s in a position to score.
They are relatively young and if they can add a legitimate outside shooting SF maybe they could take the next step. But I can’t see that happening this year.
I don’t get it. If the consensus is that the Lakers are likely to be abject failures again next year, then what’s the purpose of clearing the roster to fill it with another host of players oblivious to the Lakers culture? Why not retain 7-8 core players while adding a free agent plus the draft picks to solidify an environment of stability while acculturating a paradigm and team strategy for the future. Many complain about the revolving coaches but as a person that understands building a team and atmosphere of winning starts at the apex of the organization in determining a strategy and identity for the organization. It does not begin at the waist with the coach nor does it formulate at the tail with the players. An organizational blueprint germinates at the head with senior management. As long as the Lakers continue attracting one-year contracts in search of twinkle, twinkle little star players the team, organization, coaches, players, and fans will remain the laughing stock of the NBA. Another year of an entirely new roster replete with marginal players from the D-league or other teams castoffs is less palatable than watching the current team another year. Why continue training and showcasing players for other teams? It’s a waste of time, resources and bonding with the athlete as a fan.
In marketing, it’s well documented that it’s far easier to retain a customer than reclaim them after they’ve departed. Relying on brand loyalty as a business model is something management adheres to when they’re out of touch with the dynamics of commerce. Leaders of an organization, small business, or team must remain vigilant to disruptions in technology as all it requires to render an activity, entertainment or sport obsolete is innovation.
Why not retain 7-8 core players while adding a free agent plus the draft picks to solidify an environment of stability while acculturating a paradigm and team strategy for the future.
Well, the short answer is “because they have lost 116 games in two years.” People talk about building a culture etc and there is something to it, but:
a) Team Culture starts with the stars, and Kobe right now is more of a walking monument to greatness than he is a reliable, functional NBA star.
b) Team Culture starts with a stable coach.
Also, I think you can have great guys on your team who do everything right (Tarik Black is by all accounts one of these) and still lose. The NBA is about talent.
But in practice the Lakers probably will in fact have about seven guys from the 2014-15 team on next year’s team:
IOW, Kobe plus every guy 25 or younger who might be anywhere from semi-useful to good, plus Sacre.
“Relying on brand loyalty …”
It’s what GM did for years while the Japanese automakers happily ate their lunch.
Calvin Chang says
Anonymous: I think Rivers’ play-calling is questionable. CP3 is elite and can take over a game. For some reason, they went to Blake late in the game. Blake is still not mentally tough enough to be a closer. Blake’s facial expression late in the game showed some self-doubt, and it reflected in his decisions and moves. He could not execute late against Tim, and his free-throw misses seemed to come from a lack of confidence.
Calvin Chang says
JJ Redick is an incredible shooter – moves great without the ball, can catch and shoot drifting left or right. But he’s not as stone-cold and clutch as Ray Allen. In last 2-minutes situations, JJ’s shooting accuracy seems to go down a bit. In late game situations, Doc should let CP3 get the ball in a high pick and roll and ask CP3 to make the read on the defense and make the right play. Giving it to Blake in the post late in the game against good defenders is not a good-percentage play.
It’s hard for little ball dominant PGs to be successful in the playoffs and especially in crunch time in the playoffs when big men are more active. It’s why CP3 is wrongly classified as un clutch. In reality he is just un tall.
@ Calvin Chang – regarding the Clippers.
While I agree, CP3 is elte, he isn’t as effective because the Clippers lack a real perimeter threat. Redick is just OK and not having a go to outside threat means that Paul has to look for Blake far too much. Blake hasn’t played well in this series during crunch time. Too many bad shots and too many turnovers.
I also want to thank Darius for deleting that Fake comment with my name calling you a burrito bandit. You all know me alot better than that.
Calvin: CP3 is elite, absolutely, but only during the regular season. His track record in the post-season is abysmal. Sure, he got a pass in New Orleans, because, you know, its New Orleans, and he will get a pass here because, you know, its the Clippers, but just imagine how he would be buried if this were the Lakers, Celtics, Nicks or Spurs. Cp3 is a great player, but he is on the wrong side of 25, injury prone and has a history of not making it pass the 1st round. We can blame the rosters, we can blame the coaches, we can blame others, but he is the leader of all of those teams that just can’t seem to play to expectations. I don’t know. I just don’t think the guy is as “elite” as everyone else thinks he is.
Calvin Chang says
Haha – burrito bandit. That sounds like a good recreation league team name. The Burrito Bandits. I wonder if Blake will ever develop the clutch gene. Some players just have it. I don’t know if it’s something that can be taught. Some players (Kobe) have no fear when it is closing time. The more crucial the moment, the better they play. Bird, Magic, Kobe, MJ, Reggie, Ray Allen, CP3, Horry, Dirk -they’re confident at closing time. Blake seems to be tentative during clutch moments.
Playoffs: Spurs now up 3-2 and we are a GS choke way from the Spurs winning the title. Depressing. By the way – in case you did not know – I hate the Spurs and the way they play.
Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol: Appears they are both playing key roles on teams in the second round. Imagine if a team could have two guys like that on the team at the same time – that would be special.
R: Understand the comparison but rather than GM, use Ford. Henry Ford built the company, then other relatives took over.
Calvin Chang says
Robert: You mentioned many times that you hate the Spurs. Why do you hate them and the way they play? It seems like more and more teams are trying to emulate the Spurs. They’ve evolved their game to match the modern style of corner 3s, spacing, and ball movement. As a basketball purist, it’s good basketball and makes all players feel like they’re contributors. Too bad FO could not devise a way to keep Pau and D12. Dwight and Kobe just couldn’t get along.
Calvin Chang says
If the Spurs win again in June, maybe Manu and Tim will retire, and that will spell the end of the Spurs dynasty. One less playoff team in the west. Unless they somehow get Marc or Aldridge to take Duncan’s place and team up with Kawhi. That might start a new movement in SA.
“Dwight and Kobe just couldn’t get along” and yet, how much has Kobe contributed to the team’s success since his first of three consecutive season ending injuries?
Oh right: not much.
Robert, yeah I guess Pau just needed a different environment. A winning environment. Not that I’m bitter …
Calvin Chang says
If the Spurs advance to the next round, I think they’ll have a very hard time getting by the Rockets. Harden is a scoring machine, and Dwight is playing like Orlando Dwight. If Josh Smith can hit 70% of his freethrows when there’s hack-a-Josh, Spurs will have to stop their intentional fouling. This will allow Harden to dominate on offense and get cooking. But if Josh or Dwight chokes during hack-a, Rockets will be in trouble.
Zack Lowe beautifully broke down a couple months ago Pau is exactly the same player he was his last years with the Lakers if not worse.
So here is the nuts plan.
Sign Rondo for $10 mill one year with soul purpose of feeding Kobe in his “celebration year”
You can bank this one.
Love out 4-6 months, so lakers will probably sign him if he opts out. I wouldn’t touch him at all now unless it’s a one year deal.
I have to co-sign w/ you again. I’m sick of the Spurs gigglefest. Spurs v Cavs is the nightmare that has concerned me all season. I’d even accept Dwight and his s-e-g suddenly embracing the pick and roll for the Rockets all the way to parade. Now I know what it feels like for all of those who despised the Lakers during their dominance.
I hope Great Wall is enjoying his team’s success. He was a good rival poster.
@ Hale, “Now I know what it feels like for all of those who despised the Lakers during their dominance.” Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Many Laker fans seem to have deep negative feelings to too many teams: Celtics (understood), Spurs, Clips, any teams Dwight Howard or LeBron James are on, lol.
What is the allowable quantity of teams that a person can hate? At the rally, I missed the specific number while a dude in a Del Harris 4eva shirt was laughing out loud.
Sid uses up all his hate on Kobe, so he doesn’t have any left for the rest of the league.
T. Rogers says
Count me with Robert and Hale. The LAST thing I want to see is the Spurs win another title. Yes, I have tremendous respect for them. Still I’m tired of them. I’m tired of the “they play the right way” narrative. I’m tired their fans pretending they get no respect. They get TONS of respect. Most of all, the Spurs are (in my mind) a Laker rival. Maybe the terrible state of the Lakers has killed that rivalry. But to me its still there.
I do wish the Lakers organization would take some cues from them.
The purpose would be to tank. Since we have to play the worst SG in the league you might as well pair him with the worst PG in the league.
Baylor Fan says
Thanks for cleaning up the phony post and putting the time into this site to keep the dialog civil. It is great that you are giving us a place to vent our opinions and I hope you do not need to change the format for submitting comments.
Baylor Fan says
The Spurs-Clippers series has been a nightmare match up for both teams. Both coaches have won championships and are skilled at getting the most out of their players. Game 5 could have gone either way right up to the last few seconds. The Spurs ended up dodging a bullet when Jordan tipped Griffins shot a second too soon. If that shot or tip goes in, the Spurs would have been the “chokers” for failing to hold a modest lead in the last few minutes. They could still be criticized for not getting Leonard going in the second half since he is one of their primary offensive weapons. Game 6 should be another good game.
bryan S. says
Baylor Fan: I saw that miscue of DeAndre Jordan as a low IQ play, emblematic of his play in general. He and Dwight Howard share a lot. Great, athletic reactions defensively, but dim minds that are overtaken by fast twitch reflexes. It makes me appreciate all the more the smart defensive centers in the history of the league. Those are the guys that bring championships.
rr- Those losses can’t be attributed to the roster or coach as the only holdovers from MDA were Johnson, Kelly, Sacre, and Kobe. Wesley, Ryan, and Robert are not starters on any roster in this league, yet they were for the Lakers in lieu of any other alternative. Kobe’s contributions to the losing record were negligible unless one considers his contract as a detractor to wins. If his contract is a factor, then we make a U-turn back to the ‘head’ senior management. I agree, talent wins at the NBA level heck even at the college level it’s a factor.
Why is everyone so hard on Robert Sacre? He’s a 3rd string center asked to start or essentially backup the Lakers weakest position. Remember the good ole days when Mbenga was only used in blowouts? Or, when the ultimate blowout player Mike Smrek entered the game, and the Forum crowd cheered. Sacre has worked on his game adding fluidity and a jumper though he’s still a below average defender in the paint. San Antonio could use a 2nd or 3rd backup of his quality, so could several other teams in the league.
Chern — if somebody can use Sacre by all means the lakers should ship him there ! ????
Chearn — wups misspelled your handle previously and not sure how all the “????” happened in above post.
Baylor Fan- rivers only won one championship, and to a Laker Team that could not use Bynum due to injury and a Trevor Ariza severely limited after coming back a tad too soon from injury.
So both Kawhi and Jimmy Butler are restricted free agents. Conventional wisdom says any offer is likely to be matched…
What’s stopping the lakers from making a heavily front-loaded or back-loaded, “poison pill” type offer to either guy?
If Bulls or Spurs decline to match, you get a great player. If the Bulls or Spurs do match, you force a rival to take a steaming dump on their own capsheet? What’s the drawback here? Isn’t this how Houston snatched Lin and Asik out of New York and Chicago?
There’s not enough poison in the pill to get Leonard away from San Antonio. Probably the same for Butler. Lin and Asik were not on the same level of importance.
Lakers are doing really good in playoffs.
Why is everyone so hard on Robert Sacre?
I wasn’t being hard on him, and he seems like a great guy. He just isn’t of much use. Like you said, he is a 3rd-string center. The 2013 team gave minutes to guys who shouldn’t have been in the league, but I think all the guys who were on the 2015 team are NBA players. But they are all 7th-11th men. Sacre is about an 11th man.
Baylor Fan says
The Spurs-Clippers series continues to provide conference final quality play in the first round. Duncan was the only member of the Spurs “big 3” to put up okay numbers. Leonard seems to have lost his offensive mojo at the worst time. Rivers is extracting every productive minute from his starters, much as he did when coaching the Celtics. It is hard to give either team an edge for game 7. The Spurs are running on fumes and the Clippers have played better on the road.
If you give Butler or Leonard 24 million in the first year of the deal then 12, 10, 8, 6 in the subsequent four years you really think teams are matching that? That’d destroy San Antonios ability to go after Aldridge or Gasol. The Bulls, I dunno their cap situation, but they’re notoriously cheap. In the end the deal only averages out to 12 mil per year so you could put plenty more poison into that first year if you wanted to. Pay him 30 million the first year and the five year average comes out to 13.2 per year. Theres so many ways to do screw the other teams.
I would definitely offer that to Deandre Jordan just to put a hurtin on the clippers.
Maybe you’re right. That is toxic. Feasible? I don’t know the RFA rules well enough. I’m not big on this Summer’s top tier UFAs.
Darius — time for a new post. It takes far too long to scroll through 160+ comments. Plus, I’d be interested to hear your prognostications about what the FO will do if they keep the pick or lose it. In other words:
1) if the Lakers keep the pick do you envision that the FO will take additional steps to add talent
2) If they lose the pick would you see them approach next season as they did these last two, which is to say we’ll lose a lot.
Additionally, would you ever envsion the FO trading Clarkson or Black to pick up another draft pick(s)? Would Clarkson be worth a Mudiay? Clarkson is essentially proven but Mudiay is an unknown although he has greater upside. Would Black be worth a pick in the 20s since he has proven he can play but might have a lower ceiling than someone the FO can get in the draft.
Looking at Boston who got to the 7th seed but does not have the elite talent to challenge for a championship — do the Lakers FO say to themselves, “Clarkson and Black are nice players but they are not good enough to take us to the top. We should trade them for ‘players with greater upside’ now since their value is high.”
I think Sacre has been actually pretty good for a 3rd string. As a 3rd string you want someone who isn’t going grumble about playing time and be ready to play in the event his services are needed. Sacre has been that and over his time on the Lakers has shown steady progress improving even if hes never going to be exactly good.
I think if this were a championship team and Sacre only saw garbage minutes there would be few complainers. However, the Lakers did not get a center this season and instead had a glut of PFs being serviced as centers. Sacre was the only true center on the team and actually by season’s end saw a lot of playing time. Fans might have taken their frustration out on Sacre but I think the real problem was the lack of any true centers ahead of Sacre.
@ George — I htink I get what you’re saying about the Celtics. They got good far too soon and they won’t be in a position to use all of their draft picks on young elite talent. Although they may be able to trade a bucket load of picks for a disgruntled Cousins and make a dent in the weak Eastern Conference.
Regarding the Lakers. I think they have to be careful too. The West is much more difficult and it wil ltake a team of multiple elite players to rise to the top. There is a real risk of riding nice players to the 6-8 seeds and getting stuck there.
If Clarkson and Black top out as rotational players but not elite ones, shouldn’t the FO look to sell high – especially if they could be used to get a potential elite talent? I would say yes! I now have a fantasy scenario where we get the top pick and select Towns — then we move a package of Clarkson, Black and Houston’s pick to nab Mudiay.
That’s a pretty good dream, don’t wake me up.
Vic: you can’t structure contracts like that. The poison pill stuff the Rockets did with Lin and Asik were unique in that both were two year players. For players like Kwahi and Jimmy, you literally cannot structure a poison pill contract, the raises have to be pretty uniform and they’re getting maxed anyways.
Goddamnit Mike, you’re right, it’s only for second round and undrafted guys. The Gilbert Arenas Rule.
Oh well, there went my master plan. Any other ideas anyone?