Erez Buki is a long time reader and commenter under the handle P. Ami. Heading to live in the Bay Area this summer, Erez has had the pleasure of following the Lakers while growing up during the Showtime era in LA, seeing first hand what great team basketball looks like when played by the greatest players. Having lived around the world he learned the game playing street ball all over Manhattan and Brooklyn, the university courts of Beijing, the indoor games of Portland, Oregon and plenty of stops in between. It turns out you can make out the words Lakers, Kobe, Shaq and Magic in all the language groups on this planet. He is currently working on a his degree in Medical Anthropology waiting for the iconic Laker his young kids will grow up loving. This is his inaugural post on FB&G, but there will be more to come.
At least half of you had your feet off the ground at the same moment I did in June of 2010. We were up in the air feeling love when Lamar “hail maryed” the ball to the other side of the court and Kobe caught up to it. Up we went with him. The other half of you where in the air at the moment I landed. That is the love we all share. Since that time, our team has landed and landed hard. In five years, we’ve seen a lot of landing, some falling and often some clutching.
We don’t know if Kobe will be healthy next season. Don’t know if the Lakers will sign an impact free agent. Until recently we suffered the uncertainty over whether we’re getting one of those top-five picks. We are not used to feeling this kind of uncertainty in late April, but here we are. I don’t want to develop this bad habit. So lets focus on exploring the most imaginative part of the front office’s job, what available players in the draft may contribute to long playoff runs in the future.
It is impossible to know for certain who the Lakers will draft with the 27th and 34th picks in this up coming draft. It is also impossible to know if these players will ever have any impact, but I’m going to talk with you about the players that could be available to us in the late 1st and early 2nd rounds, the team’s more traditional draft position.
Lets start with the Christian Wood project. He is a power forward who declared after two years at UNLV.
Wood has competed against some quality opponents, three of them ranked, and did particularly well against Arizona. He managed 16 double-doubles this season and showed marked improvement from a disappointing freshman season. The kid is active. He has good touch up close. He is very long and very skinny. He needs to add strength, and bad.
He struggled against NCAA talent when trying to finish through contact. That means he is going to have some trouble against the NBA men. He has the perimeter moves to break down a defender and beat the secondary help. He struggles to finish. He plays way above the rim and will initiate contact, so I like his aggressiveness. He shoots low in the 70’s on his free throws and doesn’t have a three point shot yet. The key for him will be the weight room. At only 19 years old, there is every reason to think he has strength to tap into. If he develops a shot, he could be a small forward.
Defensively, you can see how his ability to move his feet and length lends itself to challenging and altering shots. Again, you can see how his lack of strength impacts his ability to hold his ground but the activity and want to contest shots is there.
Another power forward is Montrezl Harrell. Not a great shooter, in three seasons at Louisville he became a decent mid-range player. He can catch and shoot with confidence and has some running hook shots that look really nice. He finishes 60% of his 2-point shots and a lot of that has to do with how well he runs the floor. The guy is a long, explosive truck armored with muscles. He is a high energy guy that uses his length and energy to break up passes and block shots. He finishes through contact and is a beast on the boards. If I were to find a comp for him, his body is a little bit like Elton Brand but with a passion and swagger I don’t remember seeing in Elton. Harrell is no where near as skilled a scorer as Elton Brand was and relies more on his energy than smarts on defense but no Laker fan will be disappointed to watch Harrell develop over the course of a career.
Considering the team’s situation, I am prone to thinking in terms of developing players with latent talent. Harrell is closer to a finished product but as is, he is a hell of a player. He would bring much needed athleticism and is capable of improving his game. A continuation of the improvement in his jumper would be a huge gain for him as would a greater attention to fundamentally sound defense. His energy makes up for mistakes made and I imagine an improvement in those fundamentals will make him a monster defender in the NBA.
That said, I am intrigued by Christian Wood. An NBA weight room and eating program could turn that kid into a star forward who can use his quickness beating players on the outside. His length and touch would be an asset on the inside and with strength he should be able to assert himself as a defender. I would love for either player to be available to the Lakers when they pick. If Mitch has a better idea than let’s all be very happy with that player. This is a very good draft.
That said, I would want to know if one particular player might be had with our 2nd round pick. If not, I like George Lucas enough to possibly use the 27th pick on him.The Lakers need talent at every position. Some of us have settled on Clarkson at the 1, but I think it would be worth looking at a player at that position with higher upside.
This draft has a number of small forwards that stand at 6’6” or so. Winslow, Oubre, and Hollis-Jefferson to name a few. So, keep a small forward body in mind and imagine that body with a 7-foot wing-span usually reserved for power players. At the end of those arms are 10” long hands with a sense of touch to do tricky things with a ball. These are just three of the attributes of Brazilian point guard George Lucas De Paula.
Lucas has not played much against high level competition. You can see that in the highlight reel above. Playing against high-schoolers in Brazil is maybe a kind analogy to Dante Exum’s time playing high school ball in Australia. That said, one can look at Georginho’s skill set and the few chances he has had in international settings for a glimpse into his talent. Lucas plays low to the ground in an athletic crouch. This helps him remain balanced and ready to move quickly. He makes fast, rangy movements instead of explosive ones. When he is engaged his dribble is short. He can cross over from right to left and left to right. He has recently developed some advanced dribbling skills and uses his size to see over the defense. Lucas finishes through contact and finds players in traffic. He is a willing passer and seems to enjoy getting his teammates involved. He is much stronger in the open court than in the half court. His strength, length and giant hands help him grab rebounds and run. His mitts also allow for some insane angles taken on passes that get through due to the spin. His game’s maturation in the last year is also remarkable. He grew three inches and put on twenty pounds. It looks as though he may not be finished growing. There is reason to think he may also gain some explosiveness as he matures.
He averaged 14 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists a game with two steals when competing for Brazil in the Under 18 FIBA games.
He averaged 20 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and two steals in the Nike Global Challenge. Last month’s Nike Hoops Summit in Portland saw a George Lucas who was a bit tentative.
He needs to fix his shot. He tends to start his jumper from the middle of his face and then release to the right. I am not qualified to say whether this is easily fixable. He also tends to throw lazy passes and has had a high turnover rate. Considering how much he has not been taught yet by coaches, I see a lot of upside. A perhaps overly excited comp is a left-handed Dwayne Wade that needs lots of development. Let the kid play behind Clarkson for a few years while he is coached at the highest level. Use the NBADL to get his repetitions and find him a tutor to help him with his English. The struggles in Portland could well have been due to his poor English skills. His performance improved over the course of the summit as he grew more comfortable. He did not have the best showing in the 5on5s at the NBA combine but his athletic measurements were impressive. The raw potential of this player is in exciting to me.
Considering all the uncertainty, we should be aware that the Lakers may pick players to fill any number of positions. There are other interesting players that are likely to be available and in future post I’m going to look at them and give you my thoughts. In the meantime, please add any comments to this discussion.
Watching a ton of college ball, I wouldn’t want Harrell. He is extremely undersized, bad shooter and reliant on dunks. Rakeem Christmas is a superior prospect with better size, offensive and defensive game and will be available at a much later pick.
Yes. The roster (winning) is very important. Hence why signing Davis would be the easy part. If the rosters are equal between the Lakers and any other team besides the Heat the Lakers will get the guy(s) they want.
Warren Lim says
No expert here but I ask the question: why are we drafting PFs when we have Tarik Black, Ryan Kelly and Julius Randle? Seems like a bad strategy if its the case.
I like Lucas but I have a feeling we’ll pass on him at 27 and he’ll be gone by 34.
We’ll see. But I think Miami was about those three guys and their connection to each other more than it was about Miami itself. And the Lakers face serious challenges in building up the roster.
Good post. Thanks for the work.
Julian Dunkley says
What about tyler harvey or delon wright at PG? Harvey is a proven shooter and wright is very versatile
The reason those three guys chose Miami was because of Miami. They didn’t decide to join forces in Cle. LBJ tried to get everyone to young him in his hometown. Even the great LBJ couldn’t get his buddies to come to Cle.
As far as laker roster building its basically 1/3 done soon. As soon as this pick is made. Then with those cheap young guys (if we make the right picks) you attract the big max free agents. That’s the other 1/3. Then you can attract whatever role players you want. You will have your choice. That’s the last 1/3. And that’s the easy part.
Julian Dunkley says
If we are picking either okafor or towns at 2 i dont think Harrell would be a good fit. I think lakers should focus on pg’s and small forwards at 27 and 34. Nick young is unreliable and so is wesley Johnson who may also leave in free agency. Only way Harrell is a good fit is at back up and that’s if we dont resign ed davis or jordan hill. Even then i think Woods is a better prospect who has already played with randle in AAU
To continue. I’m confused as to why you’re concerned with the lakers ability to construct a championship roster. You can say you don’t think they will make the right draft pick this year. But they have put themselves in the perfect spot to build a roster. They will have cheap young players and loads and loads of cap space. That’s exactly what you want. Complete flexibility in a desirable market. The Clippers for example are the kind of roster that is in trouble. They are capped out and have no way of upgrading to a championship roster.
The reason those three guys chose Miami was because of Miami.
And available cap space. And Riley. And because they became pals in the 2008 Olympics. And the fact that Wade was the older brother in the group, according to James himself. And of course, James then bailed and went back to Cleveland.
No high-level team has ever been built the way that you are saying the Lakers will be built. Miami had no major talent from the draft when they put that together, and those guys had a previous personal connection.
They are capped out and have no way of upgrading to a championship roster.
We’ll see. Fern said that about Houston yesterday, and she can’t prove it any more than you can.
Cle had cap space back then. LBJ said he couldn’t get anyone to join him in Cle. He also couldn’t get his good buddy Melo to join him this year as Melo famously said “I never leave the hotel in Cle”. This time the Cavs had the number one pick in the draft and Kyrie Irving who was also drafted. So yes the Cavs followed the exact blueprint. Draft players/assets and attract the best player in the world. The Warriors did the same thing. Only they failed with their signings as Iggy lost a step as soon as they signed him and Lee got hurt and hasn’t been the same. The reason teams are just now being built this way is because of the new CBA that values rookie deals and players that want to join up together to win championships.
That’s exactly what you want. Complete flexibility in a desirable market.
If the NBA’s economic system were set up the way it should be in your mind, perhaps. As it is, that is a very open question. The Lakers With Cap Space is, as Lowe said, a Bogeyman. And Bogeymen aren’t real.
But I certainly hope that this one becomes real.
Omg. Haha. Let it go. That wasn’t the point he was making. Haha. He was saying everyone is afraid of the lakers with cap room because players want to play for the Lakers in LA. But yes your boogeyman line is very cute.
. He was saying everyone is afraid of the lakers with cap room because players want to play for the Lakers in LA.
Sure, and presuming that is exactly what I mean by believing in Lakers Exceptionalism, which brings us full circle.
Thing is, I think that Jim Buss believes it, too. Hope he’s right.
Which brings me back to my point. You really believe everyone is wrong and players don’t view Miami and Los Angeles as the two most desirable markets in the NBA?
david h says
Very nice Erez. appreciate your insight and hope to see some of your picks in the upcoming draft regardless of team’s of choice.
as the expression goes: good eye.
Good work and hope to be hearing from you soon,
Go lakers !
So yes the Cavs followed the exact blueprint. Draft players/assets and attract the best player in the world
Nope. They moved Wiggins for a guy on a max deal to make the team better-short-term, or so they thought, and plus James had personal reasons for wanting to be home. In addition, Irving is not on a rookie deal and will be making big money starting next year. Golden State traded for Lee and Bogut. Curry, Thompson, Barnes, and Green were drafted. The Clippers traded for Paul after a league intervention and drafted Griffin. Houston never tanked and used guys they had traded for and drafted to get Harden, and then had the infrastructure to get Howard.
As to cap space in 2010, IIRC Miami cleared their entire roster and literally had like one guy under contract when they pulled it off.
So…a scenario involving
a) Having a core of 21-23 year-olds on rookie deals and a bunch of cap space
b) Leveraging that into signing 2-3 High-level FAs in their primes at the same time has, literally, never happened.
That is not to say that it can’t or won’t. Given the league’s economic structure and the fact that the cap is going up, it can. But it hasn’t yet.
You really believe everyone is wrong and players don’t view Miami and Los Angeles as the two most desirable markets in the NBA?
Not necessarily. But remember your plan here AFAICT basically revolves around two guys–Durant and Davis–who are going to be rich and famous no matter where they play, and neither of whom has any connection to either LA or Miami. Your case would be better if you were making it all about Love and Westbrook wanting to re-live their UCLA years in Purple-and-Gold, since they are guys with LA connections who are already buddies.
Some cities have to rely on players having ties to their city. Miami and La do not. Sports don’t reside in a special world. It’s the same world we all live in. Most people who live in LA and Miami were not born there. People move there because they are attractive locations due to many factors.
This is just a guess but did you have a GF who dumped you and moved to LA to follow her dream of becoming an actress?
From the last thread…
I never said everyone wans to play in LA or Miami. Just like the Warriors are favored to win the title they aren’t 100 percent favorites. The Cavs have a small chance. Just like 90 percent of NBA players would like to play in LA or Miami that would mean 10 percent would want to play somewhere else if everything was equal.
It’s not Randle that draws in a 28 year old star. It’s the fact he and players like him would be good young role players at worst on cheap deals allowing for that 28 year old to pick three other max players to join him and the lakers cost controlled good young players.
Getting 3 max players to sign is much easier than getting one max player to sign. Because as you said… Players want to win and great players want to play together.
Calvin Chang says
Aaron: Unfortunately, it is not all about money, weather, and glamor – although it does play a part. There are also other factors like home, family, organization, comfort level, loyalty to community, etc. Lebron went home to Cleveland because he believes in helping the city by giving back. And it’s true. Lebron brought hoops excitement back to Cleveland and helped their economy and community. I see KD having the same kind of loyalty to OKC community as long as OKC treats him right. Spurs also breeds loyal players because of Pop and the selfless culture he’s built there.
Calvin Chang says
Other cities also have a lot to offer. NYC is a big market destination. San Francisco has good diversity and mild winters, Boston has a legacy of championships, etc. It’s also easier to play in the East and make the playoffs with a 40+ win record to get bonuses. Easy to say that Clippers are in trouble – but they could have just as easily been in the Western finals if Blake and Doc did not choke in that epic Game 6 collapse vs Rockets. Wow-that was horrible. All Doc had to do when they were up 15 was hack Howard, make him split while getting Blake and CP3 rest.
More than money and fame and glamour? Not for NBA players. LBJ went back to Cle because Miami was old and washed up and Cle had three number one picks In a row. They had young talent and a place where LBJ and another star could come together. LBJ was not happy when Melo told him he would only join him in LA and not Cle. But it didn’t matter Cle could trade the top pick for someone in LbJs window. Of course Cle didn’t pick the right player.
And there is almost no chance Durant is staying in OKC.
Calvin Chang says
Lebron’s a special case. With Lebron’s greatness, I don’t think he needed number one picks. Cleveland just happened to have them. He actually also does not need a coach. Lebron himself is a draw. Other players would take pay cuts to join him, and he could make it happen in any city. Any team Lebron joins can be in the conference finals easily with Lebron’s greatness. He just needs a rim-protector, role-playing rebounder, and some 3pt shooters who can play some defense. Replace Melo with Lebron, and the Knicks would probably be in the Eastern conf finals.
Everyone needs players around them to win. The first good team LBJ will play will be GS and he will lose. If Irving was healthy it might be different. If Cle traded Wiggins for someone better than Love it def would be different. The main reason LBJ went back to Cle was the young talent all over the roster that allowed Cle to make all those trades. But of course that isn’t the fun and cuddly narrative.
This is just a guess but did you have a GF who dumped you and moved to LA to follow her dream of becoming an actress?
Bad guess. I lived in LA for several years and really liked it, although I have settled in SD and amazingly, have a GF.
But I don’t presume that everybody wants to live in LA, and I agree with most of what Calvin said. Also, NBA guys can keep an off-season home here if they like Malibu or wherever but play elsewhere–Kevin Garnett did that, I know.
Durant will be the next test of the Aaron NBA FA Worldview. At this point, you have said you heard a report that Washington is off his radar, and now you are being dismissive about his staying in OKC. Maybe you should check in with your LeBron source. 😉
lmao at people who think they KNOW what goes on in strangers’ heads….
lmao at people who think they KNOW what goes on in strangers’ heads….
No one on the outside knows for sure; that is true. But it is not that hard to look at players and situations and see possible fits. It was clear very early–months before he left–that Houston was a great fit for Howard, and I said as much, as did others, several months before he bailed. Kareem and Shaq–same thing, with LA, BITD.
I am not seeing that with Durant and Davis coming here, based on where we are now. So, I think believing that is simply about hope.
Calvin Chang says
RR – I guess that’s why Aaron is pushing for a tank this season. He believes that stockpiling cheap young talent via draft, plus cap space for max free agents will entice 2 or more superstars KD and AD specifically -to come to the Lakers. I’m hoping for a tank season simply because I’m intrigued by the 2016 draft talent in Thon Maker, Ben Simmons and Skal. But I don’t think the Lakers will tank because there’s financial pressure with Jim and Jeannie to improve and avoid further damage to the Lakers brand.
Sure, that is what Aaron thinks they should do. But Durant is middle-aged in NBA years, and is already having health issues, so I don’t think having a core of guys around 19-21 on cheap deals will be a big draw for him unless they are guys who play like Magic at 20 and Shaq at 20. Whether Durant stays in OKC or goes, I think he will want to be in position to win immediately. The tanked Lakers would/will be selling him Randle, Okafor/Towns, Clarkson, maybe another rookie, and maybe we will get another star here if you come but it is going to take a couple of years.
Howard made that point when he left–he was not young in NBA terms and the Lakers were not ready to contend immediately. Kobe was hurt and was owed 30M, etc.
I am not totally down on the Lakers or, for that matter, on the FO. But I think this is going to be harder than nailing a couple of draft picks and showing Davis and Durant Malibu and the Lakers Twitter Follower numbers.
Calvin Chang says
I disagree with Aaron’s statement here that -the main reason LBJ went back to Cle was the young talent all over the roster that allowed Cle to make all those trades. But of course that isn’t the fun and cuddly narrative. – In this case, I believe the cuddly narrative is why Lebron returned. With great power comes great responsibility, and Lebron used his power well. Lebron’s brand transcends basketball, and his return pumped dollars to his community. Which further improved his image and brand.
Calvin Chang says
Speculation aside, it’s crazy that Lebron is dominating with Knick cast-offs Shump and JR Smith. If you rewind to the start of the season, replace Melo with Lebron, would the Knicks be a 47-win team and a threat to go to the East finals instead of a 17-win team?
Calvin Chang says
I meant FA destination / which team they picked and why speculation. I realized that the Lebron-Knicks question is also speculative. Haha
Tank: So Aaron and Calvin are in favor of the tank. I see it as a “possible” strategy. That said, a tank would be to make the pick and not do much else other than perhaps a season tanking short term Rondo deal. If we “try” to sign expensive long term FA and then still stink, you two are not allowed to call it a “stealth tank”. Ditto for anyone who predicts we will make the playoffs or will be “better than expected”. You are also disallowed from claiming stealth tank.
Last year: Was not a “stealth tank”. We tried to win and we did not. As Aaron has stated, we were rewarded for our futility with the #2 pick.
Aaron: You have been saying that you mostly have agreed with the FO, however, as I have said there have been 6 large decisions during the Jim Buss era. They are the VETO, the Mike Brown nightmare, the DH saga, the Nash trade, the Phil/MD comedy, and the KB extension For the record, for how many of these did you agree with the FO? You just said in the last thread, you were against the Nash and DH deals. You have called KB washed up, and I know you did not like either of those two coaches. Oh yea and you hate the NY deal so where do you agree with them? Stealth tank?
Robert, If the Lakers sign Rondo and/or Love am I allowed to call them “Idiots”?
Calvin Chang says
Robert- last season was a stealth tank that lost its stealth when Clarkson said Byron told him at the all-star break not to worry about winning, and just trust the process. But even before that, Byron was really putting in some bad player combinations with poor spacing, and mismanaging Kobe’s minutes. Either it was a stealth tank, or he’s a terrible coach. I’m an optimist so I believe it was a stealth tank.
I agree I wouldn’t touch Durant until we see him play next year. There is a chance he will suffer the same fate as other players with his injury. But that’s the good news. The lakers have options because they have loads of cap room. They don’t have to trade for Durant this summer. They can wait and see him play and get him without sending away talent.
Calvin Chang says
It’s all speculation. Who knows what Mitch and Jim were talking all season? But anyway, I give them a pass in the name of stealth tank. I do not believe they will tank anymore this coming season because the Lakers brand is slowly losing value, and the Busses’ need their bottom line to trend up, not down. In their board meetings, I’m sure the Busses’ will be alarmed when their finance people present slides that show a downward trend of sponsorship, merchandise and ticket sales.
R: Of course – but then again – no need to wait for those signings. Not sure they would break my top 6.
Calvin: So you want the tank, but you say that FO will not do it, for non-basketball reasons? And you have no issues with this?
Andrew Weiss says
I was a fan of some of these points. However I really think that trading the pick isn’t a completely horrible idea and should at least be considered. For more reasons why head over to http://www.benchwarmerhoopstalk.com
Calvin Chang says
Robert: I disagree with it, but hey – it’s their entertainment business. They own it. My point of view is- it’s entertainment. I’m a fan who enjoys watching and imagining ways to win and improve. If I was a season-ticket holder or owned even .01 share, I’d surely be more demonstrative. But as a fan, they can easily tell me to take a hike if I heckle them. If they make decisions for non-basketball reasons, I would understand. It’s a business. They have to watch their bottom line.
Craig W. says
Very good post, but we soon got back to the same old stuff. More on the possible picks please. I have very little to say because I didn’t follow college basketball, but I do like the comments and will note the suggestions, then compare them to the actual picks next month.
the other Stephen says
Thanks for the excellent post, P. Ami! Also, here’s a great article to follow up on the second half of Zach Lowe’s post-play article regarding offensive and defensive versatility: http://www.si.com/nba/2015/05/25/golden-state-warriors-defense-harrison-barnes-small-ball-nba-playoffs.
Calvin Chang says
Haha, good point Craig. I guess we did devolve back to the same tank, FO sucks or doesn’t suck, and free agent speculation. It’s just so hard to talk about prospects with the 27th and 34th pick because that is so difficult to predict that you might as well go to Vegas and play the roulette. It would be difficult to scout and be attached to a prospect and just watch Mitch pick someone else.
Tim A. says
At the risk of detracting from the unrelated tangential convo, I have a couple thoughts on the analysis of the three players profiled above. (Way, way above, actually.)
I didn’t see much of Wood’s UNLV team this year. But everyone seems to be very excited about his physical tools. It sounds to me from this post like he has displayed a fair amount of mental intangibles to presume he could be a good heart & motor guy as well.
I have seen a good deal of Montrezl during his Louisville days. I don’t buy the Elton Brand comparison. Seems more intuitive to call him a player in the mold of Kenneth Faried or Jae Crowder. In my view, Montrezl projects as a rotation player for the right contender. An energy guy off the bench who gives you 15-20 minutes a night of smart activity and allows you to play a defensive scheme heavy on switching coverage in response to any screen action.
Am very intrigued by your analysis of the Brazilian kid. I know nothing about him and am suddenly wondering if he could be said to be a poor man’s Mudiay. Or perhaps a slightly bigger Denis Schroeder. In any case, he sounds like a calculated gamble with a possible high reward.
Looking forward to hearing what Erez might have to say about Delon Wright and JP Tokoto, in particular. For my money, those two players paired together could have an impact similar to what JR Smith and Iman Shumpert provide to the Cavs.
-These are the guys the Lakers invited to their first pre draft workout. Guys they’re looking at for their later picks:
Calvin Chang says
Other Stephen – that SI article on Barnes defending Z-Bo was a great read. Excellent insight to low-post defense. Loved Luke Walton’s comments on posting up Fisher and Trevor Ariza.
From Mitch`s comments about rookies, at least one and maybe both later picks will be included in a trade package,unless there is another Clarkson situation where there is a player who they really like and is still available. There will be no tank this year,and I also don`t think there will be any max FA`s signed. Today should be the start of 60 player+ workouts in prep for the draft.
Ed:”60 player+ workouts”: The FO usually does not sign anyone over the age of 40.
Robert, somebody had suggested signing Rick Barry for his elite FT shooting and he must be over 60.
Might as well, with the Kobe resigning and with Nash they ended up with players who perform like they are 60 …
Regarding calling the Lakers owners idiots I’m a cautious sort and prefer the absolute confirmation that signing Love/Rondo would provide …
Renato Afonso says
Nice post on lesser known players. Not much I can add here but reinforce that any of them seems to be a low risk high reward type of pick. Also, unless Ryan Kelly develops a quick release I don’t think he will stay with us beyond the current contract… In that case, selecting a power forward could just happen.
Tim A, PJ Tokoto will be an energy bench player. He’s probably one of the top 5 best athletes in the draft but he cannot shoot at all and his inability to shoot hurt North Carolina all year. Not saying he won’t develop a jumper but man he’s a real work in progress. He will be a dunker, hustle guy for years.
Delon Wright seems like a no brainer to me if the Lakers are rolling the dice at the end of the first to try to get a PG. The guy can shoot, solid playmaker, decent size, decent athlete.
Craig W. says
JP Tokoto would appear to be someone we might bring in with the 34th pick, if we were determined not to resign Wesley Johnson. He would be designated to guard 1-3, depending on the circumstance.
If I were the front office I would try to trade up to take Devin Booker aka Klay Thompson 2.0. Watched him play all year, he was highly underutilized as a bench player by Calipari, quite possibly one of the best shooters to ever come out of Kentucky. He was close to 70% from 3 midway through the season before cooling off some. On any other team he would be one of the leading scorers in the country. Won’t be the defender Klay is but the Lakers need floor spacers and he’s the best in the draft.
the other Stephen says
@ Calvin @ Renato,
I bet you both enjoyed reading your own words in the Lowe piece: “the adaptation has been cruelest for stretch [4s] who can’t really do anything but shoot. Coaches have basically played [them] off the floor by going small and sticking speedier wings on them — guys who can close fast on 3-pointers and dribble by them on the other end. ‘If you’re a stretch 4 today, you’d better have a lightning-quick release…'”
I hope Ryan Kelly is working his tail off, because he would make a good play next to Towns or Okafor, both of whom are able to pass and draw doubles well. In Kelly’s exit interview, he briefly alluded to his summer goals, including becoming stronger, better and more consistent at shooting, and putting the ball on the floor, so he seems to at least have some of his development priorities right. Whether he recognizes that fixing his release could help him get there is a different question.
I like Wood and Harrell myself, but believe some team will pick either of them before. George Lucas is an intriguing candidate as are Rashad Vaughn and Tyler Harvey. Interestingly enough, I would not be shocked with UCLA’s own Kevon Looney slipping. In the event he did, I would argue to try and package both 27 and 34 to move up and get him. However, I’m not sure there will be much of a demand for a package like that. Harvey intrigues me because he is different than Clarkson in that he can and will get his own shot. Clarkson is a hybrid whereas Harvey is a flat out scorer and good shooter. Think of a more refined, bigger, and more creative Andrew Goudelock.
Excellent post. Well done. I look forward to reading your views on other prospects. BTW, I saw Christian Wood in his game vs. Arizona and he looked superb.
Other possible candidates for the #27 and 34 picks could be the following:
Rashad Vaughn, a 6-6 210 SG from UNLV who averaged 17.8 ppg and 4.8 rpg;
Olivier Hanlan, a 6-4, 190 PG from Boston College who averaged 19.5 ppg and 4.2 apg; and
Terran Petteway, a 6-6, 215 SF from Nebraska who averaged 18.2 ppg and 4.9 rpg.
Vaughn will be turning 19, Hanlan is 22, and Petteway will be turning 23 in October.
Also, there is a chance that Mitch Kupchak will be trading the #27 pick and another player for a higher draft pick or a veteran. If it’s for another draft pick higher on the board, they may try to draft Justin Anderson or Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, two very highly rated SFs who will probably be drafted 16-22. The 3 position is, as we all know, a gaping hole for the Lakers and has been for several years. Perhaps through a combination of draft picks and FA signings, the Lakers may attempt to fix this problem once and for all. Erez, your thoughts?
Chris J says
The 3 position is, as we all know, a gaping hole for the Lakers and has been for several years.
I am optimistic that Randle will see a lot of time at SF in the coming years, and hopefully resolve that weakness. Not saying they have the same ceiling, but his game reminds me of Barkley in that he is a hybrid 3/4 type. If he can handle either role well, what spot he plays most could be adapted to whomever is playing around him in the front court.
P. Ami says
I looked at Harrell’s stats before this posted. He measures well in standing reach because of how long his arms are. I think he is tall enough and what he might miss in height he makes up for in wing-span. His midrange shot improved in his years at Louisville. It went from a non-weapon to an inconsistent weapon. So, I feel the work-ethic is there. That said, part of the fun of looking at these kids is trying to project while knowing its all in the hands and abilities of a human being I’ve never met.
I do like Devin Booker. I think he’ll be a really nice pro. I’d be happy if he were an Aaron Afflalo 2.0.
I do prefer Wood too. Its also fun to think what a coach would do with Wood and Randle; both guys who could play some 4 and some 3 each. It may even start the process that brings foot-speed and length to the perimeter. Okafor may be less of a liability for his rim-protection if there are guys hounding players out there.
Your points on Harrell are good ones. There is a lot of differences between the kid and Brand. No question. Maybe its difference enough for the comp to be off but I was always so impressed with how Brand used his really long arms. He used to get a lot of blocks and rebounds with that length. You are right that they are very different players and its hard to see him as an all-star like Brand was. Those 20-25 minute guys who make plays on either end and energizes the team fill an important role on winners.
Mudiay and Shroeder are both really quick. Georghino uses change of pace and direction, allowing his length to get past. If he develops some explosiveness as he matures then I might have a far too hyperbolic comp (Miami) and after the Brand comp (Shooting Guard) it may be smarter for me to put more thought into my comps (won three rings).
I still have no reading on why Looney is falling. I should know more about him, as UCLA is the school I follow closest, but the only take I really have of the team is that Alston kind of irritates me as a player. Its not rational, but he does. I was happy to see him drink some kind of power up juice to end the season but I’m predisposed against him. As for Looney, what thoughts do you have on his prospects as a pro?
I really like Anderson. I thought I was reaching a little high when I was looking at Harrell with the 27 pick. Anderson seemed too good to drop to us. The draft can surprise experts so, I would never say he can’t drop. If Mitch trades up for him that is a really interesting sign that what we both see in him may have translated to the Lakers’ scouts and front office too.
Vaughn can shoot it. He was really good in that Arizona-UNLV game too.
david h., rr, Craig W., the other Stephen, and anyone I missed,
Thank you for reading and writing. Please keep it up. I’ll keep an eye on the comments and chime in when I can. Hope to have a few more of these up before the draft.
I like both Duke pgs. tyus jones and quinn cook.
Renato Afonso says
@the other Stephen,
I did, I did! I hate Lowe’s smug and overall demeanor. He is someone who thinks he knows more about the game than those that actually were on the floor playing it. To me he is slightly better informed and less biased Henry Abbott. However, he is totally right about the stretch four. If you think about it, Kelly is simply a tall shooter. A real stretch four is Draymond Green who can abuse a lighter player in the low post or step outside against slower and taller opponents. If Kelly gets a quick release, grabs some rebounds and plays solid man defense, then I’ll become his biggest supporter.
If our own Julius Randle could become something between Draymon Green and Charles Barkley (yes, high expectations because Randle is taller but seems skilled enough) then Kelly would be redundant in our roster and we would be better off with one of the prospects above. I’m sure the coaches know if he is closer to being a pure sf or a Barkley-type pf. I really hope it’s the latter.
I wanted MDA over Phil. I heard Phil was no longer all there mentally. He couldn’t remember players names etc. I also like the Kobe contract because it allowed us to tank while clogging up cap space. As I’ve said the only things I’ve been against were the Nash, Howard, and Nick Young deals. But as we learned this year we wanted Sessions but Ramon wanted out as he didn’t want to play next to Kobe. So we had no choice. The next option was Nash. The Nick young deal is so benign it doesn’t really matter. We will be able to send off for that contract. The big thing was trading for a guy who just had back surgery. It was a given he would never be the same player again. But who knows… Maybe they just wanted a rent a player like howard so they could go for one more championship with Kobe and then start the rebuilding process. If they traded Bynum for my choice Westbrook or someone like that the team would never be able to rebuild. Or I should say it would be much much harder.
As for the veto what did you want me to comment on? The trade itself? I thought it was a great trade.
@rr for the record im a “he” lol, i thought that was established by now lol, anyways, im with Aaron on the Lakers being on a better situation than say, 2 years ago, the youth movement is in full swing and we have cap space and poised to have Kobe’s gargantuan contract off the books in conjunction with a dramatic increase in cap sounds like good planning to me in retrospect i think thats the real reason they gave him to him. I find baffling that people underestimate Mitch, a GM that the people that knows that actually are in the NBA regards as one of the best GMs in the entire league. And people have selective memories but Jimbo has been in the decision making process in the organization for years even theu championships. So even though im wary of Jimbo as the head honcho i understand some of the failures are the result of triying to hit that grand slam and fouling out instead, some of it was provoked by a league decicion that there is no need to talk about again. In hindsight an if people take a good look without bias to the last two years, in the worst case scenarios that could had happened, the Lakers are in a way better position than the cash strapped old team they were less than two years ago. After Dwight ran i was aware that we had to bite the bullet for a time while the FO adapted to these new CA rules.The time for bitting bullets is over.People talking about the later picks in the draft, Mitch said that thats too many rookies in the roster, my guess is that those are going to be dealt at least one of them, for what? No clue, they could be use to sweeten any deals or whatever they deem fit, but im sure the Lakers wont have a rookie batallion when preseason comes around. Just my thoughts
Thought for sure the warriors would roll over the East/Cavs this year. But now I’m not quite so sure about that, Cavs are playing gritty defense now. Lebron still isn’t shooting all that well, but still averaging nearly a triple double for the playoffs. Jr Smith seems to come up big and continues to nail enough 3’s to put them over the top every couple games. Guess we will see if “bigs” can win over the guard focused warriors. Despite Curry being MVP, I would assume most teams would take Lebron over Curry any day of the week, even if Lebron is getting slightly long in the tooth.
Regading the Lakers, I’m only concerned with who they get for the #2 pick, since no one else is going to move the dial much. Even with this young talent, they need to snag some established talent in the next couple years. Still praying that Kobe retires after this season and that we DO NOT get Rondo! Also, still hope Chicago gets cheap and Jimmy Butler signs a max deal w/ the Lakers. Butler played some great D on Lebron and helped Lebron shoot a pretty lousy percentage that series. Really wish most of the real talents this coming year weren’t mostly RFA’s.
@ Calvin Chang: Regarding Anthony Randolph. I was as high on him as anyone when he came into the league. But after 5 teams in 7 seasons, and being out of the NBA last year, I think it’s safe to say he’s an end of the bench guy at best.
I’m not saying the Lakers would never trade Randle, but right now we would be selling incredibly low on him. We don’t know what we have yet. Best to see him on the floor for a year or more before making a decision you would likely regret. Plus, I’m not sold on Embiid. Bigs with foot problems don’t tend to work out. I also heard he ballooned to over 300 pounds before he started working out again which is not a good sign for his commitment to staying in shape.
@ Fern: I agree with what you wrote about Mitch. However, it’s almost that you believe this potential silver lining we have in front of us (#2 pick and cap space ) is the result of some grand plan. I don’t agree with that at all. I think the last two years are an indictment of Jim Buss. Even with these upcoming draft picks the roster will be as unproven and thin on talent as any in the league. A 20 game improvement next season would still likely get the Lakers a 10th seed in the West. There won’t be playoffs in the picture for some time.
I also think Jim’s silver bullet of signing multiple elite FAs is a wonderful sound bite but remains to be seen if it can be executed. Everyone’s fantasy of Durant and Westbrook is just that. Each has missed significant time for lower extremity injuries. And while they are young they each have significant miles on their bodies. I am leery of buying the downside of player’s careers and signing either of them feels like that is likely. Anthony Davis would be a wonderful get but he’s have to turn down a lucrative extension and then wait until the summer 2017 to hit free agency.
Like I posted in a previous thread: Yes, down years are natural. However, what the Lakers’ have experienced was escalated, deepened and prolonged by the many poor decisions of our FO — specifically Jim Buss. If anything the pain of these losing seasons may be beneficial in the long term for the Lakers. I think Jim now realizes that he is not his dad. You’ll notice that Jim has been pretty much out of the picture and Mitch has been more visible and vocal, both of these are very good things.
I think the Lakers will be heading into a first round pick drought after this year. Probably safe to assume next years first rounder goes to Philly and the year after first rounder to Orlando, for the Dwight Coward rental. Can anybody confirm this?
Darius Soriano says
You can’t trade 1st round picks in consecutive seasons. If the Lakers surrender their 2016 pick, they will keep their 2017 pick with their 2018 pick going to the Magic (with the considerations of whatever protections exist). Here is a good resource explaining the status of future draft picks owed, including by the Lakers:
I see Mitch’s comments to be seemingly misleading. He has stated that they are weary of taking on too many rookies at once and noted they likely would choose an international player to stash away.
As stashed players don’t count against the cap if they are from the 2nd round but do if they are from the 1st round I am expecting the Lakers to draft an international player with their 2nd round pick. George Lucas, Luwawu, and Osman seem like the most likely prospects. Lucas PG has incredible physical attributes but seems to be very raw and would likely be stashed. Luwawu SF has an NBA ready body who plays good defense, can hit the jumper, but does not handle the ball that well. He would likely be an option to stash or bring up now. Osman is a SF with PG like ball handling skills with questionable shooting. I would either go with Lucas with the biggest possible upside, or Luwawu who seems to be a solid all around player.
The Lakers held a recent draft work out for the following guys, TJ McConell, Kevin Pangos, Bryce Dejean-Jones, Seth Tuttle, Maurice Walker, and Dez Wells. If you don’t recognize these names it might be because they are predicted to fall out of the draft for each one I checked. Mitch has said he has no intention of drafting these guys with his second pick although I would find it unlikely he would choose these guys with their 3rd pick either. This sounds like he is considering buying a late 2nd round pick or possibly inviting guys like these later to their preseason roster undrafted.
Calvin Chang says
Todd: With Anthony Randolph, he’s still young and has 5 years of prime physical stage ahead of him. Some players play awful, go overseas for a year or two, then get an epiphany and start appreciating their gifts and potential. We talk about young prospects we can gamble on with the late picks. Why not gamble on a 6 ft 10 agile and skilled guy on minimum salary? If the light bulb has clicked, maybe he’ll be like a Lamar Odom. If not, waive him. On Embiid – I like Randle’s game, but I like Embiid’s game more. I think the Sixers have been hiding him because the tank.
P Ami: Again, very fine work. I simply don’t know enough about guys who will be on the board at that time to comment much. I think I would like to see the FO try to package those two picks to move up a few slots.
Lowe: He has some Lakers bias issues, like most of ESPN does, and his tone has gotten kind of Grantlandian. But he is a very good writer.
FO/picks/cap space: I agree with Todd, mostly, and again, the whole scenario depends on getting 2-3 max or near-max FAs–even Jim himself has said as much–and that argument ultimately comes back to “because Lakers” no matter how insistent some people are about it being based on obvious truths and clear logic. One way to look at the situation: processes of growth/recovery take longer, generally, than processes of deterioration/destruction do. So, the Lakers will need to make a series of excellent decisions, combined with some timing and luck, to overcome what has gone down the last four years, and that is the case regardless of how much of that one chooses to put on the FO.
Good planning: If we believe most reports, the Lakers FO offered Carmelo Anthony a max deal, and according to other sources, offered Pau about 2/20 with a NTC–Pau has said that himself. In addition, after the 2014 season, Mitch told Sam Amick of USA Today that the FO believed that the 2014 team would win over 40 games. And, of course, the FO offered Dwight Howard a max extension.
So, the stealth tank/master plan/better off without Howard narrative relies on the ideas of a lot of false reporting and FO lying, and/or the idea that the Lakers FO was playing chicken with player agents trying to fool casual fans and knew that Howard, Anthony, and Pau would not sign here anyway.
And even if that is the case, it was a bizarre set of huge financial risks to take for a long con with a low payoff. If you go 27-55 and 21-61, people are going to complain, and some people are going to lose interest no matter how you got to that level of losing.
Like I said in the mock 5-on-5 that I responded to after Mid W graciously said that he was interested in my thoughts, the Jim Buss FO seems very PR-conscious when it comes to player acquisition. But the best PR is, of course, winning, or failing that, building with young guys people want to see and can pin hopes on.
Craig W. says
Looking through draft suggestions here and other places, I just cannot see the Lakers taking anything but Towns/Okafor with the #2 pick – it doesn’t make any real sense, based on who is available.
Based on who we have, it also doesn’t make sense to take an undersized PF at any time in this draft – that pretty much eliminates picking any PF left when we pick. I don’t even know who we could reasonably move up to get.
The SF position is fairly slim where we will be picking, so I see us either moving up to get Justin Anderson or hoping Petteway or Hollis-Jefferson fall to us. Hollis-Jefferson would mean we are going to let Wesley Johnson walk – probably next door to the Clippers.
For PG I only see Delon Wright being taken with #27 and I doubt he lasts that long. Perhaps George Lucas de Paula at #34 and stash him, but there isn’t likely to be much left at PG we would take at #34. Sign someone after the draft.
For SG I could see us taking Devin Booker at #27, but he shouldn’t fall that far. After that there is possibly Rashad Vaughn at #34, but again he will probably be gone. I really don’t see us going down to pick up a SG later, unless someone wants someone at #34.
I think this logic is why Mitch would be happy to package #27 & #34 to move up and get Anderson or Booker, but I don’t really see much else.
This is fun.
Calvin Chang says
rr – Here’s why I think they did a stealth tank. The strategies put forth by Byron were bad. Spacing was bad. Byron did not study his players strength and weaknesses well enough to produce plans to maximize their abilities. Playing RKelly at 3. Having Kobe shoot plenty of long contested 2s. Starting and playing Boozer a lot early on instead of Ed Davis. Limiting Lin’s pick and roll plays. And Mitch and Jim credited Byron for doing a good job. Byron telling Clarkson not to worry about winning. This all points to a tank. The alternative is that Byron did a bad coaching job, and Mitch and Jim praised him for it.
Calvin Chang says
I’m a fan of shooters, so Devin Booker would be a great choice if still available at #27. Very good form with high release. Booker also has good size.
the other Stephen says
Is that you, JD Hastings?
Dave M says
@P. Ami (E.B.) — great stuff here. Keep up the awesome work.
david h says
hey dave m: this is great stuff indeed .
darius: thx for bringing both Erez and Renato on board to further bring new found perspectives and interests here at forum blue and gold. running downhill is a great start.
I always liked the ucla connection dating back to the Walt Hazard and Gail Goodrich days. thinking here that the bruin blue and gold will always have a forum here as well. and I too am interested to see how kevin looney and norman powell fare in the upcoming nba draft.
Go lakers !
I am going to hang myself! There was no stealth tank! There was only an overt tank. Guys are we still debating if the world is flat?!
Ultimately, while IMO it is an interesting thing to talk about, it doesn’t matter whether it was a stealth tank, bad management, or some combination thereof. What matters is what they do now. They are going to have 3-5 young guys (Randle/Clarkson/#2/#27/34), a couple of young bench guys, and the “financial flexibility” that Mitch and Jim have publicly espoused. So we will see what they do with it.
Calvin Chang says
rr and I like to talk about it just to mess with you, Aaron. Haha By the way, what do you guys think about Jared Dudley take on ESPN radio? Any truth to his claims?
Calvin Chang says
After watching more videos of Devin Booker, the way he plays is like a taller version of Wayne Ellington. I’d trade 27 and 34 to move up and get him. A good corner 3pt shooter with size and a quick release is good for spacing.
Calvin – What did Dudley say?
Aaron: Overt tanking occurs when you trade all of your players for picks. We did not do that.
R: Darius is of course correct. However, if the 2016 pick goes out the door, once the 2016 draft occurs, the Lakers are free to their 2017 pick. Then they would then lose the 2018 pick, and your drought would occur. The back to back first round pick rule was put in by the NBA in an attempt to prevent teams from completely mortgaging their futures.
Calvin: “The alternative is that Byron did a bad coaching job, and Mitch and Jim praised him for it” They hired him and now they plan to keep him. What are they supposed to say?
Calvin Chang says
Quoting Jared Dudley on ESPN radio: Most guys don’t want to play with Kobe. He gets in this thing where he doesn’t pass and then overpasses and then tries to get triple doubles every night…that’s why I think it will be a while for the Lakers to get good because they’ve got no stars. I would be surprised if (Kevin) Love goes there.
Craig W. says
Kobe won’t pass the ball, therefore, players won’t play with him.
Anon – Dudley essentially said that nobody wants to play with Kobe because he doesn’t defer to teammates, even with his career winding down.
P. Ami says
I really like the option of stashing Da Paula. One problem is development opportunities in Brazil. The kid needs to work on his English & play where a team will develop him. Brazil is not very competitive and in Europe there may not be much motivation for a team to spend resources on getting him ready for us.
We should all appreciate better how complicated it is to manage development and how brilliant the Spurs have been over the last decade and a half.
What did Dudley say?
Pretty much what some factions of the media, and some players, have been saying for years, ” .. guys don’t want to play with Kobe.”
“Most guys don’t want to play with Kobe”
Not gonna be a problem much longer.
R: I am lobbying for years 21 and 22. The games without Kobe were incredibly boring the last 2 years. And he brings the team money. Quit focusing on “basketball reasons”
What did Jeanie say? If guys don’t want to play with Kobe, then they are losers and shouldn’t be on the team.
Kbj – I though it was Mitch who said something to that effect; maybe Jeanie too.
Kinda sad, really.
Robert: for years 21 and 22, could we wheel out a wax figure of Kobe instead? I doubt anyone would notice the difference at this point.
Chris J says
Happy to see the Warriors advance.
Let Dwight begin another summer of Lego building, the only ring near his finger being a candy jewel on which he can suck.
Chris J – My thoughts exactly. That is one player that I would be happy to see retire without a ring.
as i spam across the internet…
only hyper-competitive freaks need apply to the Lakers. that rules out everyone afraid to play with Kobe, everyone who wouldn’t enjoy it thoroughly.
Stephan Curry-26 points on 21 shots only 6 assists. what a ballhog.
James Harden and D12 well-beaten, who’d a thunk it?
Dudley: Kobe is almost 37, takes up 40% of the cap, has missed the end of three straight seasons with serious injuries, and is not an especially good player anymore. So, even if he had the gravitas of Bill Russell and the charm of Magic Johnson, no one would want to play with him now, sure. But Artest wanted to be here. Barnes came here. Steve Blake signed a four-year deal here. Pau re-upped and has praised Kobe in public. Fisher never wanted out because of Kobe. Odom was crushed when the Lakers moved him. Ariza praised Kobe. So did Shannon Brown. Bynum never liked Kobe much, but he re-upped.
So…really it was Shaq, after the team declined, and Howard when the team was not nearly as good as people thought it would be and was capped out and old, who didn’t want to play with Kobe.
This isn’t complicated: most guys want to win now and make money, make money and win now. Kobe’s problem at the moment is that he can’t really help you win now and his contract has another year on it. How much of a jerk Jared Dudley may think he is isn’t really that big of a deal.
AusPhil, maybe the Lakers bring him back at the tail end of his career to try for a ring, ala Malone and the glove…
On second thought, nah.
Chris J says
When’s the last time three people who weren’t his mom, dad and sister gave half a crap what Jared Dudley thought about anything?
Unless I need advice on how to wear a headband and look a douche while playing no defense and waiting to chuck a three-pointer, there really isn’t much use for words leaving his mouth.
Lakers used to be a power house, today they are nobody’s team but us. So what happens, when you are down disgruntled has-beens look for somebody to blame in order to gain attention. Say it to Kobe because he has been a lightning rod ever since he won his first Championship in ’00 despite feud with Shaq. Who is Dudley? An ordinary role player but his hating stand about Kobe made him an overnight star on hungry mainstream media and social media about the former power house team. Frankly, Dudley is just envious about the Lakers past so he echoes the much ballyhooed Lakers intrigue by repeating an old assumptions of Kobe-haters. It is just ripe to say it now because this time it elicits attention, the power team is down. Analyze a good brand, in any product or a powerful empire in history, the envious competitors will always find faults and happy to pull it down when it is experiencing down swing.
I am no Kobe apologist but I just admire this player who contributed 5 rings, 7 finals, 81 pts, 63 pts in three quarters, season/finals/all star MVP and Lakers extended season.
Calvin Chang says
Robert: That’s why it was a stealth tank. Jim, Mitch and Byron executed the stealth tank to perfection, sucked while trying hard to pretend they’re trying their best. They sold tickets and merchandise, managed to keep majority of the fans interested, and got the 2 pick. Jim and Mitch praised Byron because it’s mission accomplished! Now the Towns / Okafor era is about to begin. Give FO credit for this.
Calvin Chang says
I don’t know why everyone’s predicting a Warriors win. Lebron is a super soldier who is capable of willing teams to wins. He always coasts during the regular season and turns it on in the playoffs. His vision and willingness to trust his teammates reminds me of Magic. Kerr and the Ws should fear Lebron. If W’s don’t play with a sense of urgency against LBJ, I can see the Cavs getting this in 7. Should be an entertaining finals.
“Excuse my language, but that’s (expletive),” said Durant, who congratulated Bryant via text message after he surpassed Jordan on Sunday. “I want to play with a winner every single night, especially somebody who wants to win that bad, who works that hard, who demands a lot, who raises up your level. I’d want to play with a guy like that every day. … (His style) may make people uncomfortable, how he acts and just how he approaches the game, but I love that type of stuff. I think (the accusation) is BS.”
Admittedly from a couple of months back, but if I have to choose between Kevin Durant and Jared Dudley …
BJ Rassam says
At best, revitalizing the Lakers is going to take multiple years, just to get back to the playoffs.
T. Rogers says
“Most guys don’t want to play with Kobe”
Not gonna be a problem much longer.
This sums it up. The man is going into the final year of his contract. That entire narrative is outdated. I wish talking heads would let it go.
Also, I just wanted express how much I enjoyed the contributions by both Renato and P. Ami. Of course, Darius is great as usual. Really great work gentlemen! Hopefully the next few months will really give us some good things to talk about here in Laker land.
To add to the Dudley discussion:
Most guys don’t want to live in places like Toronto, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Orlando, DC, Minni, Phoeniex, Memphis, New Orleans, etc., but end up doing so because they want to play in the NBA and their options are limited OR because they get paid to play there. Sure, there are some guys who will play only based on where they want to live, who they want to play along side with or whether they think they will get a ring, but that list is very, very, very short in any given team.
You are going to tell me that if the Lakers offered a guy like him, whose ceiling is probably around the mid level, something like $10 million next year he would pass it up just because he does not want to play with Kobe? HA!
Thibbs is a free agent and has said he will take a year off. I hope Byron Scott enjoys his last year as a Laker coach.
To give the devil his due, Dudley did say he would play with Kobe. Umm..thanks, but no thanks!
Thibs gets a bush league send off:
It was absolutely stunning that the Warriors training staff allowed Klay back in the game last night. He took a knee to the thinnest and most vulnerable part of the skull. They are lucky it wasn’t more serious, he should have been sent to the hospital for an immediate CT scan. They should have been worried about more than a concussion, the way blood came out if his ear they are lucky it wasn’t a subdural hematoma. Embarrassing if they are allowed to keep their jobs.
the other Stephen says
Did not know what a subdural hematoma is. Stumbled across this shortly thereafter: http://imgur.com/gallery/0CTwquT. Don’t click if you’re squeamish.
Cats, I don’t think Klay played after he got hurt even though he wanted to they didn’t let him go back in. Hope warriors win it all. By the way Howard said after last night he’s still a champion. I’m guessing he’s referring to his high school championship.
Comments like Dwight’s post-game remarks last night make me glad he’s no longer a Laker, despite the undeniable truths that 1) I was glad, like almost everyone else here, when they got him, and 2) his departure set back the franchise. The guy will never be able to get out of his own way; even if what he was (evidently) trying to say last night might be defensible, the way he says things is almost always tone-deaf and guaranteed to piss people off. Perhaps he’s just not that bright, and I’m sure if he ever does win a championship, most of this will be forgiven, but he’s a much easier guy to root against than root for.
R: Wax figure: As you know, I am a huge Kobe fan, but was against the extension. Kobe did not give himself the contract, so should the wrath not be directed elsewhere. That is unless you think there was an ingenious plan to plow through three coaches, a bunch of picks, and to have the worst two years in the franchise’s history – all in the name of a stealth tank?
Thibs: He is a defensive coordinator. Not a head coach
Dudley: This is nothing new. Everyone knows the majority of star players don’t/didn’t want to play with Kobe. It’s in the past now. Kobe is gone after this season. Turn the page.
Concussions: Basketball isn’t American football. They are dealing with the same BS in world football. They don’t have constant head impacts and shouldn’t be governed the same ways American football is in terms of concussion protocol. If a player wants to play he should be able to play. Until ex NBA players start taking shotguns to their chests this is a non issue.
Baylor Fan says
The Warriors medical staff should be sued for malpractice. Clearing Thompson for a return to the bench meant that they made him do shuttle sprints in the hallway like they did for Curry. It is unconscionable that he did not get an ambulance ride to the nearest trauma center. The worst thing you can do for a hit to the head is increase blood flow to the head like the sprints would have done. Kerr also is at fault for not insisting that Klay be sent to a hospital.
Baylor Fan says
Aaron your comments about concussions are not based on the standards of 2015. If this were high school sports (any sport) the medical person in charge and the coach could be sued and possibly receive jail time for letting the player return. Someone who has been hit in the head is not capable of determining if they had a concussion. Klay was a great example, his overt symptoms did not become apparent until after the game was over. This does not mean that he was okay, it just meant that the brain can compensate for a limited time. If Klay did return and get hit in the head again, the trauma could have ended his basketball career. As a fan or owner, is that outcome acceptable when all he needs to do is miss the rest of the game and be evaluated 24 hours later?
J C says
If Klay was bleeding from a ‘laceration’ as the TV announcer said, ok.
If blood was coming OUT OF HIS EAR —
Oh my goodness. That’s serious.
Hope he’s ok.
Aaron, it may be nice to pay attention to matters such as these BEFORE players ‘start taking shotguns to their chest.’
Robert, I’m not directing “the wrath”* towards Kobe, merely commenting on a lamentable situation.
As to whether the whole mess was an ingenious plan … I’d hazard it was neither ingenious nor planned.
* sounds almost Biblical! Flattering, I suppose.
The NBA has been around for a long time. The votes are in. They don’t have CTE issues.
PS The blood wasn’t coming out of his ear like his brain was bleeding lol. Geez. He had a laceration on his ear. That’s just skin.
Dwight not that bright? 2 yard ago I was at a cigar bar in Irkando listening to one of his former teammates talk about his 5 kids with 5 different women he was semi supporting.
Sounds like a candidate for Mensa membership to me. Guy is a disgrace in my opinion.
Aaron hate to tell you you’re wrong, but you are, you don’t even have to have contact to the head to sustain a concussion. Anyone who studies concussions will tell you that, and also the leagues implement policies after limited research is done. Limited research should never be considered a standard due to small sample, it is ALWAYS better to be on the side of caution especially since the research is constantly evolving. Also blood or not he couldn’t drive home, his father said he threw up and he was disoriented. Based off where he was hit alone the staff should have sent him to the hospital.
Klay had no signs of a concussion. he was ok. he’s ok now. i’ve dealt with worse running into areas with less head-clearance than expected. life isn’t safe.the NBA isn’t the NHL or the NFL. caution is good, but hand-wringing doesn’t help.
don’t really want Thibs…
right now, the Lakers look just fine. i’n glad there’s nothing to really whine about, yet.
When did I say Klay didn’t have a concussion? What I’m saying is concussions are so rare in the NBA the odds of having another hit that would lead to a secondary concusion during the same game (which is very dangerous) is so low that it’s silly to yank a player out of the contest. If you want to “error on the side of caution” don’t let people play sports all together. The NBA doesn’t have a concussion problem. Sports like NFL football, boxing, rugby, and hockey do. This has been studied now for many years. NBA players don’t suffer from CTE like those other sports. Even world football has more problems with concussions than the NBA. It’s silly to police the NBA like the NFL. They are two very different sports.
my understanding is that he passed the tests in the locker-room and that he was lucid. of course he’s eligible to play. obviously there was a concussion. people have those. are we that fearful?
Chris J says
Dwight Howard’s Best Lies
“I’m still a champion. And I won’t let anyone tell me anything different.” — May 27, 2015, Oakland, Calif., after losing Western Conference Finals
“Now I’m happy to be a Laker. Thank God. I’m just happy right now.” — August 12, 2012, El Segundo, Calif., at his introductory press conference as a Laker.
“I haven’t said anything to anybody about anything. … All the other stuff should stop.” – April 5, 2012, Orlando, right after Stan Van Gundy told reporters Howard had, in fact, asked management to fire the head coach.
Mud and Aaron I think you both miss the point.
A concussion, no matter if it is sport involved or not, is a serious issue. With a car wreck if you suffer from a concussion are you going to dismiss it because you aren’t an NFL player and go about your routine for the day or will you go to the hospital? This is trauma to your brain for God’s sake. Would you allow your son or daughter to return to a game after taking a significant injury like that? If you tell me yes you are kidding yourself.
Aaron you said “concussions are so rare in the NBA the odds of having another hit that would lead to a secondary concusion during the same game (which is very dangerous) is so low that it’s silly to yank a player out of the contest.” Once again this is incorrect thinking, non-medical personnel have a hard time understanding this and think that concussions are just a hot topic right now. Even one concussion makes you extremely likely to suffer from another, being disoriented or dizzy while running up the court it would be so easy to be bumped and lose balance and hit your head. That’s fine if you want to dismiss a concussion in basketball because it isn’t football but that is ignorance. Doing research into the field will open your eyes, they still really do not know a ton about concussions, they aren’t even sure the tests are correct to determine if a player has one on the sideline and guys slip through the cracks constantly (once again limited research). A concussion is a concussion no matter where it happens and that is a fact.
Mud, yes we should be that fearful, Parkinson’s, Alzheimers and other cognitive/neurological issues from even one concussion should scare anyone especially if they aren’t handled properly.
KO and Chris J: I think you fellows said it all re: Dwight.
Some of you know-it-alls who think a concussion is no big deal should go educate yourselves. Even a first concussion can be serious business. Read, for example, what the Mayo Clinic has to say about how they should be handled:
But what would Mayo Clinic doctors know, right? Compared to the wide and deep knowledge of head trauma possessed by the average sports forum poster.
And the idea that because the NBA “doesn’t have a concussion problem” Klay Thompson doesn’t have a problem is pure idiocy. That’s like saying that because, say, Palos Verdes (or insert the town of your choice here) doesn’t have a gun violence problem, the few people who might get shot there don’t have a problem. The rarity or frequency of a condition in a given population has NOTHING to do with its potential seriousness FOR AN INDIVIDUAL WHO SUFFERS FROM THAT CONDITION. You’d think that would be obvious, but I guess not. Jeez.
Craig W. says
I don’t think many here would argue that a concussion is not a serious deal. What is argued is that basketball, as much contact as there is, doesn’t have anywhere the level of danger for the athletes that some other sports do. We all need to calm down a bit.
The reason concussion discussion is all the rage is that sports having a concussion problem are slowly, slowly, slowly starting to accept that fact. As concussion protocol advances, certainly the NBA should follow it. However, it is not one of those sports where a measurable number of athletes are shortening both their life and their quality of life because of concussions and head trauma. This means they don’t have to be on the cutting edge and trying all kinds of experimental – i.e. unknown results – kinds of techniques that require major changes in the game.
One final point. Life is dangerous. This doesn’t mean we should take unnecessary chances, but it does mean we have to proceed – and allow our kids to proceed – without demanding complete safety before we or they try something. There is no such thing as complete safety. Please note famous Paul Conrad cartoon from the ’60s.
Obviously Aaron spoke out of context. No one can deny concussions are a real problem in any part of life.
When I was 9 a was chasing a ball and got hit my a girl on a swing at school. They still have no concussion program at the swing set.
My long term results are obvious. For 50 years I have been yelling at the Lakers and Dodgers, no doubt caused by the fateful day at the swing set and that concussion.
I want to vent about the draft. I am sick of people acting like 19 year olds are finished players. All I hear is that Okafor can’t defend and how Towns can do everything. Maybe Towns is the better prospect and will be the better player, but somehow fans all move together in a weird way. Last year it was Wiggins had no drive and floated in games and would never be able to be the focus of an offense. Or Julius has t-rex arms and will never be good defensively. My whole thing is, Wiggins looks fine being a go to player already. Julius has a build similar to defensive runner up Draymond Green, but bigger and stronger (not saying he will ever be the same level defender, just pointing out his wing span won’t stop him from being being Green on defense. Who by the way everyone said in all those mock drafts that he would score in the NBA but never defend). Okafor sounds a lot like Pau Gasol to me. A guy who can score and pass, who rebounds well but doesn’t dominate the boards and gets you a block a game. Again Jahlil is build like Marc Gasol (plays more of a hybrid between the two brothers). Why are we limiting him before he can even drink. And why is Russell not in the mix for number one overall more? He plays like Ginobili (a cross of Harden and Curry, the top two MVPs this year). Or what about Mudiay who every says is almost exactly like John Wall (a top tier PG). I don’t like that we have already determined the draft. I am still unsure of the order I think the draft should really go, but everyone seems to believe it is locked in. You know we have had it that way in the last 10 drafts and yet we can name dozens of bust. Anyways thanks for letting me rant. I am so excited to see who the Lakers draft no matter who it is because in reality we won’t know what we have for a year.
Here’s an interesting article about an outstanding NBA player who suffered an on-the-court head injury with catastrophic results:
Disclaimer – by posting this, I’m not advocating a change in NBA concussion program/policies or implementation of a concussion program at Ko’s childhood swing set.
doctors handling illnesses properly lead to disasters too. i’m not convinced. life is dangerous. there is no safety. if someone can function, they can function. if they are showing symptoms, then a trip to the doctor is warranted. there are plenty of people who have had multiple concussions who never exhibit any further symptoms. there are some who do. i’m going out on a limb to say that EVERY single young male that lives actively has had at least one, if not ten mild concussions in his lifetime that were ignored. for most of these humans, there are plenty of other of life’s disasters that affect them more.
if the doctors and/or trainers got it wrong this time, then it’s over and done with. i don’t deny that some tragedies can be avoided and should be, there’s nothing worth tongue-clucking in this case, though. just my opinion.
A head injury isn’t CTE. The concussion protocols are meant to prevent CTE. Nothing can prevent severe head injuries except helmets.
Aaron, I remember reading about Maurice Stokes when I was a kid. Thought it was an interesting story, so posted a link here. I didn’t do it to advocate any particular position, let alone suggest players should wear helmets. 😎
Does anyone have any thoughts about using the 27th pick + 34th pick to get Tyus Jones? He’s a pure point and a true leader in the Derek Fisher vein. I think Clarkson is more a two than a one and feel the Lakers need a true floor general to build on.
Clarkson is a combo guard who would be perfect as the first guard off the bench on a playoff team. I would have no problem taking Jones if he fell to 27. Here’s the thing about Jones, he’s at his best in transition. If you watch draftexpress videos (I know they are highlight reels) he is awesome at taking the initial outlet pass and then hitting the released wing/big with a pinpoint pass for a layup.
I like the Derek Fisher comparison and agree that having a strong presence as your PG is a good thing.
Craig W. says
Tyrus Jones is predicted to go in the early 20s in the draft. Do we trade a late 20s and early 30s draft pick to move up 7 places? I guess if the front office thinks highly enough of Tyrus Jones and there isn’t a SG/SF combo that is likely to fall to 27, then they will do that.
good to have you back mud, thanks for the precise medical info.
Chris J & KO, way to go re: DH!
Mock drafts tend to fall apart pretty quickly in the actual draft. One of my favorite prospects last year Kyle Anderson was predicted to go in the early to late teens of the draft fell all the way to the Spurs with the 30th pick.
LOL once again Aaron you clearly have no idea about current research in the field although I am sure you think you are an expert about this as well like every other topic :). As someone who actively studies this subject since it is in my field, there are many studies that actually support the idea that concussions are dramatically on the rise BECAUSE of the helmet in football.
Take a sport like Rugby which is just as physical but has nowhere near the amount of concussions as football, what could be the reason? There are many studies showing that a person thinks the helmet protects them (by the way it doesn’t, think of the helmet as an eggshell while your brain is the yolk, trauma will still displace it). Players will hit with their head first more likely instead of leading with their shoulder. Removing helmets from the equation makes players protect their heads more and tackle properly, head and eyes up. Essentially doing this makes the sport more like rugby in terms of tackling, there will still be concussions as there are with any sport but it is believed it would dramatically decrease incidence. That is just some of the constantly evolving research I can provide you links to the articles if you would like.
Craig W, “However, it is not one of those sports where a measurable number of athletes are shortening both their life and their quality of life because of concussions and head trauma. This means they don’t have to be on the cutting edge and trying all kinds of experimental – i.e. unknown results – kinds of techniques that require major changes in the game.” The fact is you cannot say this definitively, there simply isn’t enough research with NBA players to back up that statement. Maybe in 10 years they will have compiled the data but as of now they should take every step they can to protect their players. Looking back on it now do you think the NFL wishes that they would have jumped ahead of the concussion boom say 10-20 years ago by being involved in research and cutting edge technology? I would say League officials should always be ahead of the curve in protecting their players, but maybe that’s the problem. Some of the people involved in decision making look at the players as products rather than human beings, as long as their team is having success they could care less what happens to players.
LAKERS GETTING NEW DIGS
The Lakers plan on building a new corporate headquarters, practice facility and 750-seat exhibition court in El Segundo on a five-acre property they purchased on Friday. ETA: Spring 2017.
Orlando has hired Scott Skiles.
Purple Blood, you’re welcome.
of course, precise medical info is a pretty slippery subject. oh well, i’ve managed my own health for more than 35 years and i can’t say that i’m worse off than the other people i’ve met. of course my name is mud, so it goes without saying that i’m an idiot. i’m not sure what others’ excuses might be…
it seems that Klay has been diagnosed with a concussion, so all those worried can now relax. he won’t be playing until his symptoms disappear, as it should be.
See I think in basketball players should play if they want to play no matter what after consulting with their personal doctor.
After watching Robert Upshaw’s interview on draftexpress I’m sold on the idea of taking a gamble on him. I was surprised at how well he looked on offense. Choosing him with the Lakers second pick would allow the Lakers to draft Russel forming the core of a solid back court with Clarkson. I’d draft Lucas as a high potential guy in the back court who could add the finishing depth for now.
My primary acquisition would be bringing in D. Carroll who wold finally solidify the line up at SF. Johnson would be brought back to fill in as a more suitable role as a back up. I would then sign Koufos to bring needed depth at Center. Sacre returns yet again as the 3rd string at center.
Backing up Kobe, we would have a plethora of options. Russel could step in and play next to Clarkson which I would envision in the post Kobe era being the starting line up. I would bring Brown back as he seemed to pair nicely with his old college buddy Clarkson. I would think about trading Young but I still have him penciled in behind Kobe.
Randle, Black, Kelly
D Carrol (14m), W. Johnson (1m)
Upshaw, Koufos (5m), Sacre
Russell, Clarkson, Lucas
Bryant, Young, Brown
I doubt the Lakers have something like this in mind but, I would love to see this happen. It would be a major youth movement and provide enough defense from Carrol and Upshaw to showcase the offense of guys like Randle, Clarkson, and Russell.
Aaron-love you bud, but you are dead wrong on concussions. These are serious injuries that need to be addressed. Did you hear Clay Thompsom was bleeding from his ear, was dizzy and almost fainted after the game? I did. His Dad drove him to the hospital after. How do we know this. Cause his Dad said it on his own radio show.
-Time for a new topic
@Darius, and other commenters here.
Thanks for taking the time to moderate and get rid of innane, racist, personal attack rubbish that typically passes for a forum on NBA/sport sites. I had never commented on a sport site previous to this, typically avoided the blog asepct all together seeing all the crazy trash comments that people put out there. Basically it quickly seems to devolve into racist comments, and F-U type stuff.
Don’t always agree with you all here but I’m usually interested in the different point of views.
Hopefully the Lakers make some great decisions this year, so we have something to look forward to in 2016-2017 as we hopefully turn the corner. Just hope we don’t go the route of “old” players Rondo, or Wade etc, and we stick to guys who should be going into their prime basketball years 26-29 to help bolster the youngins.
I don’t want Upshaw. I want a rotation piece, not a guy who puts blunts in rotation.
the other Stephen says
Lol ^, somehow I get the sense that you or Lil Pau have used that line before.
For the last time. Klay wasn’t bleeding from his ear. He had a cut on his ear. A laceration. Did people actually think on their heads his brain was bleeding? I guess concussions are more of a problem for posters on this site than on a NBA court.
I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. I’ve never said concussions aren’t very very serious. I’ve said repeatedly that the reasons concussions shouldn’t be dealt with the same in sports like basketball is because of the non problem CTE is in basketball. Concussions are not a problem in the NBA because CTE isn’t a problem. Concussions are only bad people when they give you problems later on in life. If that doesn’t happen in a sport you don’t have to change the rules. It’s happened in NFL football, hockey and boxing. Oh. And rugby.
Baylor Fan says
Aaron, people have died from a single concussion from a non-football sport. I have spent time on the sidelines of high school lacrosse games and seen kids get hit on the head and suffer concussions. In our state, that is an automatic trip to the ER to get checked out and make sure nothing bad is happening in terms of internal bleeding. It is not up to the player or coach to make the decision, it is state law that the player be pulled from the game and seen professionally. Typically, the player will be sent home on the day of the injury and seen again the following day by a person trained in treating concussions. At that time, a recovery schedule will be set up based on the symptoms the person has. The player is checked each step of the way and recovery could be a few days or a few weeks or longer. Our parents get very concerned when their child has a concussion and it is not unusual to have them pulled from participating in sports. I get that you understand that it may not be good to suffer repeated minor hits to the head but a single big one can be debilitating too.
The treatment that Curry and Thompson got from the Warriors medical staff was blatant malpractice. Even physicians from Stanford who are not involved with the team were surprised they were allowed to return to the games and not sent to the ER. Mychal Thompson had a good reason to be upset when his son got sick on the way home from the game. I hope Klay’s recovery goes well but please understand that it can take time for the inflammatory response in the brain to subside.
Again people. I never said a single concussion isn’t a serious thing either. I said there is “no way besides helmets to stop concussions.” But nobody liked my helmet idea. My entire point is that players should be allowed to return to the game after a concussion in basketball because the likelyhood of a secondary concussion is so low In the sport of basketball. My stance on this has been very straight forward. You can disagree with me but at meat disagree with me on my actually points.
…and I think doctors should check you out during the game after a head injury. And I do think it should be an Independant doctor. I think the doc should have final say if the player returns. I think all those things. The threshold has to be very high though in a sport like basketball. Like one in 5 K concussions has to be held out of the game. Again this isn’t NFL football where players get concussed every other play.
Aaron, enough, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Stop and let it go.
New subject since that one has become tiresome. What does everyone think about the head coaches recently hired like Gentry, Skiles?
– Hoping I’m wrong, would love to see a very competitive NBA Finals, but I think the Warriors win this pretty easily. Warriors in five.
-Refs are not going to allow Dellavedova to play Australian rules football against Curry in the Finals. He will be penalized…big time.
J C says
Happy for Alvin Gentry. Seems like a class act. I like the New Orleans franchise. The rise of Anthony Davis to mvp-caliber player should be fun to watch.
Thibs out of Chicago is kind of outrageous. Reminds me of a little of Phil being ousted after winning there. It seems like management there hires strong personalities and then wishes they hadn’t. It’s doubtful another coach would have done as well there as Thibs did.
I’d love to see Thibs coaching the Lakers but Byron has at least another year here. Thibs may sit out the year (he’s still being paid) and the Lake Show may have a chance to nab him next season if Byron flames out. But Byron’s almost guaranteed to have a better season this year since our roster and talent figure to improve dramatically. Unfortunately, Thibs and the Lakers may end up being two ships that pass in the night.
T. Rogers says
Re: Gentry and Skiles
I’m not sure about either one. I’m convinced Skiles just doesn’t have the temperament to be an NBA coach. Knowledge? Yes. But his hardcore approach just doesn’t fly with this generation of players. He will be alright for Orlando for a couple of years since they are a young team. But I won’t be surprised if he wears out his welcome in a couple of years.
While Gentry can help the Pels, I’m not sure coaching was their biggest issue. The issue I see is Eric Gordon is a shell of himself. He and Evans are often injured and both are very inconsistent. Unless their GM shakes up the roster a bit I’m not sure Gentry will can get them over the hump.
I actually do know what I am talking about when it comes to concussions. CTE in NFL football and ice hockey has been a big cause of mine for the last ten years or so. It’s the only thing I take seriously when it comes to sports. The only other thing I take some what seriously in professional American sports is the indentured servitude of the salary capped franchise/draft business model implemented by the NFL, NBA, NHL, and to a lesser extent the MLB. MLS doesn’t fall into that category because there are other pro soccer leagues that pay more money that dont use that system. So if a player is good enough he can play in a free market with more rights.
CATS8884, as one of our regular commenters, Rubenowski, mentioned a short while back when Darius´d made the clarion call for a new contributor:
“maybe Aaron can interview himself´´ –
That´s as succinct as it´s gonna get! Jaja (it´s all good Aaron)
Personally, I´ve always liked Gentry: he seems hard-nosed & able to relate quite well to his players…at least from a distance! Having a young team, & A. Davis to boot, to lead must be exciting for him.
As far as Skiles goes: humbly & with all due respect, he´s never struck me as the kind of coach who has an `aura´ of a leader that´ll take a team to the promised land, reins firmly in hand. Don´t know, but the best of luck to him all the same.
I hope you´re on the mark re. the refs and Dellavedova…it´d do the league good .
Nice writeup! I’m a medical anthropologist and longtime reader (silent observer) of FB&G. Good luck with your career — it’s a great time to enter this field!