We are on the eve of free agency and the Lakers are looking to add talent. We have laid out the different approaches the Lakers can take in free agency, but practical navigation of these paths won’t be nearly so straightforward. Fact of the matter is, when the Lakers dip their toes into the free agent waters, they’ll likely use a combination of all different strategies to try and upgrade the team, putting out feelers to players at all levels to express interest in the hopes of getting commitments from as many players as possible who can affect the bottom line of wins and losses.
The questions, of course, are who are these players and what positions should the Lakers prioritize? Before we try to answer those questions, though, a few points worth mentioning:
- The Lakers have several players who have non-guaranteed deals who they will need to make decisions on. Some of these decisions will be impacted by free agency. For the time being, I am thinking they end up keeping Jabari Brown and Tarik Black. I also think Sacre returns (you can never have enough bigs).
- There are several free agents who I do not believe the Lakers have any chance at signing. These are guys who are either a restricted free agent whose team will almost certainly match any offer sheet or are so entrenched in their current situation, I don’t see them leaving.
- These players, in no specific order are: LeBron James, Marc Gasol, Jimmy Butler, Draymond Green, and Kawhi Leonard. I have a feeling Dwayne Wade and Kevin Love will join this list, but I’m keeping them off, for now. But I don’t thing there’s really a chance the latter two join the Lakers even though, their names have been linked to the team in one way or another.
- The Lakers already have meetings lined up with LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan. They’ll meet with Aldridge at 9:01pm PST on Tuesday, right after free agency opens. They will meet with Jordan on Wednesday. Greg Monroe will also have a meeting with the team.
- The approximate max salary slots for players like Jordan and Aldridge (seven to nine years of NBA service) will be 30% of the cap, which, based on current projections, should be around a $18.9 million first year salary. For players with zero to six years of service, the max will be 25% of the cap, or around a $15.8 million first year salary.
With that out of the way, let’s focus on what the Lakers should actually do when the clock strikes midnight on Tuesday (at least on the east coast).
Find a Big Man, Preferably one to Play Center
When the Lakers drafted D’Angelo Russell over Jahlil Okafor, they pretty much made finding a big man in free agency a priority. And not just any big man, but one who can play Center for at least part of his minutes. Luckily for the Lakers, there are several players who fit this bill. If I were to rank them, not by talent, but by my preference for who the team might sign this is how those rankings would play out (for the sake of brevity, I’ll only rank 5 of the candidates):
- DeAndre Jordan
- LaMarcus Aldridge
- Robin Lopez
- Tyson Chandler
- Greg Monroe
First of all, I would also include Ed Davis on this list (and, potentially, Jordan Hill — though lower than Davis), but we’ll get to him another day.
Second, I rank Jordan above the other players because he’s fairly young (26) and fits the mold more of what the team actually needs — defensive presence, rebounding, athleticism, true size. I have Aldridge next simply because he’s the best player of the bunch. His combination of excellent offense, size, and solid enough defense make him a difference maker. His age might concern some people, but I’m not as worried about it. Aldridge hasn’t taken a pounding over his career and has the type of game that should age well (shooting + size and length typically = a long career). In saying that, however, if the Lakers “missed out” on him, I wouldn’t be overly disappointed just because the fit with the roster isn’t quite as ideal as I’d want for a guy being paid the 30% max.
Some might be surprised to see Monroe “only” 5th on this list and behind Chandler and Lopez. After all, Monroe is young, puts up very strong numbers in terms of points and rebounds, and is a good enough passer to be an integral part of any offense. His defense, though, is not good.
Meanwhile, Lopez (27 years old) and Chandler (aged at 32, but still a difference maker) are strong defensive players who, while no where near the complete offensive players Monroe is, play within their skill sets on that end very well and operate well within a structured role. For me, their stronger defense combined with capable offense holds more value than Monroe’s combination of points and rebounds with defense which is pretty much proven to be subpar. Especially considering the Lakers’ needs.
Find a Starting Caliber Wing, Who May Come off the Bench
The market for perimeter players is not as strong as the one for bigs which combines to make this a secondary priority and a tougher get for the Lakers. There will simply be a lot of competition for these players, even if, based on the way free agency typically plays out these guys will draw less initial attention than the big men. In saying that, here are how I would rank the top wings on the market:
- Khris Middleton
- Al-Farouq Aminu
- Danny Green
- DeMarre Carroll
- Tobias Harris
First things first, I should have probably included Middleton in the group of guys who are not going to escape their current team in restricted free agency. But, I’m including him here because he’s the type of player I think the team needs. He shoots well, defends both wing spots, and can score even though he’s not a high usage player. Danny Green is very similar to Middleton, but I have him ranked lower simply due to age and the fact that he’s not as big (though he can defend multiple positions as well).
As for Aminu, he’s the worst offensive player of this bunch. For some reason, though, I don’t really care. His athleticism and size on the wing give him an ability to defend any type of small forward in the league and switch P&R’s in certain situations and not get buried by PF’s. He plays hard, knows his role, and seems to be finally coming into his own after bouncing around the league early in his career. While he’s not as good as Green, Carroll, or Harris, I might target him before them because he’ll be cheaper and fit into a role with more ease.
Regarding Carroll, it’s not that I am down on him, but I do think if he leaves the Hawks he’ll not be as good as he showed this past season. Atlanta’s Spurs-like system of unselfish passing and off-ball movement fit what he does well and limited what he doesn’t (namely, isolate and create shots for himself and teammates). If he went to a team that asked him to do more offensively, I’m not sure he’d perform as well.
As for Harris, I sort of see him like I do Monroe in the section on big men. Harris is clearly talented, can score and rebound the ball well from the wing, and has enough size to play some small ball PF. His versatility will serve him well for as long as he’s in this league. But, he’s not really shown much beyond his scoring ability, isn’t the defender he should be considering his physical tools, and just doesn’t seem to do as many of the little things that help you win games. This doesn’t make him a bad player, but it does make him someone I’d be wary of paying a salary staring above $15 million, even with a jump in the cap looming.
The Lakers have other needs that will need addressing not covered above. They will likely need to sign a veteran point guard to play behind Russell (and Clarkson). They will also want at least one additional end of the roster wing who can soak up some minutes in a pinch should Anthony Brown not make the team or end spending a lot of time in the D-league. I expect both of those signees to be minimum salaried guys and not of much consequence.
Ultimately, if I were running the Lakers, and based on what’s written above, my strategy would likely be different than what I imagine will be the Lakers’ tack of chasing the big name, high priced guys. I would probably settle on going after Robin Lopez or Tyson Chandler on relatively short deals, and then go hard after Khris Middleton or Danny Green. I would also press hard on Aminu. My goal would be to sign as many defensive minded players as I could, but who have enough of an offensive identity to be useful on that end of the floor. Whatever cap money I had left over, I would roll it into next summer where a certain Oklahoma City Small Forward hits the market.
Phillip Lam says
FInally someone that knows what they’re talking about. What do you think of backups like Cory Joseph and KJ McDaniels? Also, for a starting center, do you think Kosta Koufos can do a solid job? I mean he’ll be cheaper than Chandler/Jordan and the Lakers will have room to sign a wing.
Everything you said I been saying over and over go sign tyson chandler and A defensive wing stop chasing these big time free agents
My other concern with signing a big name like LaMarcus A. is that I feel like he would somewhat stunt the development of our youngsters, as they would need to defer to him as our de facto “star” and #1 option on offense in our post-Kobe future. I would much prefer options who are defensive-oriented, so fantastic you mention Robin Lopez and Tyson Chandler. We can always revisit our options down the road while maintaining some financial flexibility along the way. Of course DeAndre would be fantastic, but may be unrealistic.
It is hard to believe that suddenly there are mind boggling chatters that Lakers will be the hottest destination by 4th of July. We used to have drought in the last two years but this year, on the draft date alone there are strong winds of change from reliable sources that favors LA out of the 24m cap space, TV expanded contract and Kobe’s fracking gold mine in 2016. My only question how will Mitch reassemble their contracts C PF and SF on the first year. Hopefully, there is still $$ to sign Davis.
For the center spot, Koufos is too slow to defend away from the basket such as pick-and-roll situations. Robin Lopez is a good option. I have a feeling the Lakers aren’t going to prioritize the three spot. Kobe will probably rotate to that spot, with Randle and rookies soaking up minutes at that slot as well.
Good read, I think they should be prioritizing Deandre Jordan over Lamarcus Aldridge, Sign Deandre to a max and then try to get a guy like Aminu to play on the wing.
Warren Lim says
It might be good to note that the Lakers current makeup has enough offensive-minded players that will flourish given the situation. 2 big PGs like Clarkson and Russell and with Kobe playing SF, an emerging perimeter/post threat like Randle would develop further if there was equal distribution of the ball. Considering Kobe is there… There’s only too many possessions in which guys on offense can flourish. If you add Monroe, the inside-out offense might hurt the overall makeup of the offense.
Adding defensive minded players like RoLo, Aminu and Ed Davis secures balance and symmetry of the offense. After all, our 3 heralded youngsters are quite adept at offense but not yet at the other side of the ball.
Then there’s Kobe…
Todd Jackson says
Took the words out of my mouth…
Improve defense. Asik/Chandler. Patrick Beverly will give us quality minutes and save Kobe a lot of tread at backup pg. he pairs well with Russ and Clarkson, so he doesn’t need to be a playmaker.
Wing defender? That’s what Anthony Brown, Nance, and Randle are for.
Warren Lim says
Ed Davis and Robin Lopez won’t shock you with 20/10 performances every night but their contributions on defense will be vital for us to defend and succeed. Plus adding a big time name like Aldridge will bring the offensive focus and development inside where he would need to be fed. Consider the Warriors, they have 2 very good defensive frontliners and none of them ask for the ball to succeed, they simply flourish within the system.
James Katt says
LaMarcus Aldridge may be a star but he doesn’t hog the spotlight. Look at all the players who have played with him through the years. He is like the backbone of the team. He lets the other players shine brightly.
I think Lamarcus Aldridge would be a fantastic fit with L.A. He is a power forward in the Tim Duncan mold. He is a gentleman.
He hasn’t won in Portland because they haven’t surrounded him with great players like the Spurs have supported Tim. Portland’s choices also haven’t panned out, often ending in a career threatening injury.
Warren Lim says
For clarification, I think adding Aldridge would do wonders for our team. I am not opposed to this star-shopping strategy and after all having a center that can pull away the defense to 20-feet would be awesome.
But consider it for a moment, the Blazers were hiring Lopez and Kaman because LMA didnt want to play C. Now you’re pitching him to come over and anchor our defense… Not quite a sound strategy.
Consider the presence of Kobe and guarding the dominant offensive metagame which is Pick and Roll, we need a mobile big to defend it. Someone who can anchor the defense while the rest of the team can focus on succeeding with shooting. Kobe also mans the pinch post which creates a semi clog in the middle on offense.
Signing Demarre Carroll is a very good move too because he can defend the prototypical Lebron James anywhere on the court and he has the proficiency from three that will space the floor.
Casual Fan says
If we focus on a defensive wing, wouldn’t floor spacing be an issue? Our center is not going to stretch the floor, randle won’t, and a defensive wing is likely not going to help either
The Dane says
If Kobe is ready to accept a role as mentor/leader on a team in transition, then getting a defensive big and wing, and letting the young guns develop and harden in Kobe’s fire could be a thing of beauty.
LA may be the best available FA on that list but I just don’t see his game fitting the teams needs or fitting the current talents on the team. I think he’s going to sign with the Spurs. He’s leaving Portland to chase a ring. The Spurs are a lot closer to that than the Lakers.
It would be great to have a defensive presence that doesn’t need the ball/touches so that everyone else on the floor can get a fair share of touches and learn to play together as a team. It’s going to be hard as is with Kobe still on the team. I am very curious to see if Kobe makes adjustments to his game where he doesn’t dominate the ball as much as he has in the past. Having said that I agree with Darius that the team should target Lopez or Chandler. Their deals will be cheaper and allow for more financial flexibility to sign a good SF and other role players. The team is not contending any time soon and signing Chandler or Lopez won’t get them there but makes much more sense than signing DJ at 18-20mil/yr who won’t get them there either. Both Robin and Chandler will allow the team to compete and the build towards something more. Then hopefully the FO can make a splash impact FA signing next year to get the Lakers back into contention. I’m also very excited about seeing Russell throw alley oops to Chandler.
For the SF position, it would be nice if the team can go after a versatile serviceable player. I haven’t given too much thought to who, but versatility is going to be key for that position as the team is lacking perimeter defensive presence, but will also need a shooter. The SF agents listed above all sound like they could fit this mold. If they can sign one those guys then I will be happy.
Jimmy Watts says
We should go hard at a centre and look for a more short term option at SF. Deandre would be great, although I wouldn’t mind Robin Lopez either.. As for SF, a player like Aminu is good as if we happen to get Mr.Durant next year, he can slide to the bench quite easily.
I would sign Aldridge to a max. You need a number 1 option and he can play both PF & C. Then add a C who can play 25 minutes or so a night. I really like Tyson Chandler for this role, the Lakers would only have around $6m for this though so may have to move down the list to Robin Lopez or Kosta Koufos.
For the wing positions, I am actually happy with the players we have. Kobe should start at SF. Clarkson at SG. Young off the bench. Also I really like Anthony Brown as a role player and think he will be able to contribute immediately as he is capable defensively and a solid shooter (45% 3-pt last 2 seasons). I would bring back Wes Johnson as a bench player who can get 12 minutes a night for a minimum salary. No harm in a veterans minimum deal!
The priority for me in the backcourt will be a suitable backup PG. I think CJ Watson would be worth picking up using the $3m exception they have. Capable defender, good 3-pt shooter and can play on or off the ball. I’m sure Ronnie Price will find his way onto the team as well for a minimum deal.
Point – Russell, Watson, Price
Wing – Kobe, Clarkson, Young, Brown, Johnson
Bigs – Aldridge, Randle, Lopez or Tyson, Kelly, Black, Upshaw or Sacre, Nance jr.
Duane Rose says
Great breakdown of the Lakers pending free agent. The most accurate story I have seen. Hope Lakers can put a team together to make another playoff run with this possible Kobe’s last season. If he can get in the playoffs with a few players that has his back good things can happen. Plus everyone says the NBA is a conspiracy anyways. Sending Kobe out champ sounds good to me!
I’m pretty sure the Lakers will look for a home run signing, but I definitely would like to see them to gather nice fitting role players (i.e. Robin Lopez or Danny Green) instead. Even if they need to slightly overpay these guys.
The Lakers love to make huge splashes signing the big stars who demand the ball, but it would be nice to already have a solid core of players who won’t take up all our cap space or need many touches.
Great article….I agree 100% on your choices. I would like to get DeAndre Jordan most, then LaMarcus Aldridge. LA is the guy we need with Kobe and the one guy that could break the ice on other stars wanting to come to LA. We need a star to say yes. If we strike out on them, I would say Robin Lopez and Danny Green would be perfect. And I would use the $2.8 room exception on Aminu. I love Tyson Chandler but only if Lopez and Jordan aren’t available. I would even go with Ed Davis over Chandler because of his age. I also Like Asik for cheap as well as Cory Brewer and Gerald Green. I like Wes Matthews and DeMarre Carroll as well but not for more than $8-$10 million. Whatever wing player we get will need to be versatile enough to play SG and SF in order to fit in with a possible max player after next season (Durant, Derozan). I think there are only two stars at this point we have a shot at, but we could very well finish a close second for both Aldridge and Jordan. But I think a combination of some of these guys above could still set the table for a max player or two to sign with LA next summer when Kobe comes off the books. It would be a great young supporting cast of up and coming young talent screaming out for an A list max player or two. I am looking forward to seeing what they do!
Basically what I got out of this was that LA will not be getting any good FAs. Just signing some players back
Keeper Robert Upshaw, sign Roy Hibbert an Al farouq A mini. And stand
back. If we can’t get hibbert, Tyson Chandler he’s from L.A. anyway.
Warren Wee Lim says
Players that occupy the 11th to 15th spot are not commonly discussed at this stage of the season. Since we have big time cap space, let us first try to get quality over replaceable quantity.
One guy I would want us to retain is Wayne Ellington. He shot lights out last season, quite content with his role and has been to more than 5 teams in his career. A 7/3 might be a good way to put money on someone who can really shoot and score. He’s a good backup or positional starter.
The Wes Johnson experiment might be over. Xavier Henry was someone I also really liked but I guess he needs to recover from his achilles first before thinking about him. I’d rather give the time to Larry Nance and Anthony Brown if it came to these 2.
Jordan Hill can still remain a Laker if we chose to. Surely not 9M. Front office purposedly structured his deal last season that way so that in case the max he gets this year is an MLE from someone, he’d have already banked 9 million on a 1-yr cap-rollover move.
We have too many projects as it is, we need more proven players at this point. And since we have quite a few offensive players on hand, youngins at that, we should focus on signing defense to complete our depth up front.
Chandler C says
Totally agree. My dream scenario is we trade Nick Young and sign D. Jordan and D. Green. But most likely we’ll end up with Robin Lopez and Aminu. Wouldn’t be disappointed with that either.
I hope we get a good C just to show that people still want 2 come to LA and win a championship
if we prove we can be in the playoffs again and everything we have a big future if we make it far kobe will still play but with a less expensive contract
deandre is obviously a great fit but i wouldnt mind another defensive minded center as Deandre his free throw % is horrible and work ethic (based on cp3) is subpar
but either way any C 2 the lakers lol
I would be ok if we get Jordan (reaaaally doubtful) but like I said before, his ft shooting make Dwight looks like Steve Nash, at least Dwight could score, Aldrige should be a great addition and im a fan of sticking Ed Davis as our starting center, about “stunting” our youngsters, I don’t think none of them are ready to be “the man” yet, if ever, I have high expectations on Russell and Randle but as far as we know one or both of them could still be busts. and Kobe is going to be there, whatever improvement we make this season rest on what Rusell and Randle can bring to the table. I don’t think they are ready for the pressure to be #1 in the Lakers just yet, they need a veteran to lead them.
I just want the Lakers to spend wisely and smartly. Unlike NY that tends to overpay overrated players.
About Roy Hibbert, first off he opted him on his Pacer deal(wisely),second and more important, he is a scrub!!! He is like what 7’2 and is not a good rebounder and he is a good shot blocker because of his size, cant score can’t rebound. Good thing he opted in because nobody else was going to pay him the money he is going to make this season, not even close. Hugely overpaid.
We need to go after guys where we have a reasonable shot at getting them and keep going after guys that will listen because we cant strike out this FA period
if we can sign LA great – he helps take the pressure off of what will be 4 rookies on the team this year – randle, russell, nance, brown
This is also why I think Monroe will be a positive – we will actually need his offense … randle plays on the perimeter, so does ed davis, so does hill now – Monroe is the only one with any post up game – chandler can’t, lopez is limited, asik really can’t ….. if russell struggles or kobe gets injured we need someone we can rely on for pts in the half court
I really don’t see chandler coming here … will he really want to spend his last contact babysitting a bunch of young guys or would he go to a team like Milwaukee where their young guys are already established in a weaker conference and hes sure to make the playoffs every year … he comes here there is no guarantee
If LA comes here playoffs seem likely – monroe maybe .. deandre.. maybe .. asik – no – lopez – maybe ….. either way the madness starts tonight ….. question … when can FAs actually sign their contracts … usually reports come out right away on July 1st but usually they need to wait a few days to actually sign their contract
Alex Olsen says
Thanks for the terrific breakdown Darius. I suggest that failing to sign a top-tier free agent we should consider a trade for Roy Hibbert. Stop laughing. Hear me out.
We all know we need multiple all-stars to get back to the promised land. Every year there are a handful in free agency. If we fail to snag one this off-season, rather than tie up money/years in mid-tier free agents we should roll it over for next year. One way to roll over the cap is to sign-and-trade for Roy Hibbert (an equivalent mid-tier free agent) with his $15.5M/1 year contract eating our 2015-16 cap space.
The Pacers had the third best defense last year (http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/team/_/stat/team-comparison-per-game/sort/fieldGoalPctOpponent/seasontype/2). Roy Hibbert was integral. He will allow Randle’s offense to develop, while covering his ass and mentoring him defensively. We can hope that he pulls out of his mid career nose-dive. But if he doesn’t, we dump his contract and free up $30M+ with he and Kobe off the books for 2016-17 free agency.
Argisht Minasyan says
I rather resign Jordan Hill then go after Lopez or chandler and al firuq aminu???? He’s a garbage player who is very inconsistent… Go hard after lamarcus and deandre and if it doesn’t work out there throw money at Tobias Harris and resign Jordan hill and or Ed Davis…
Excellent breakdown. Despite the age concerns on LA I’d be happy if he came. But wouldn’t be upset if he doesn’t…which seems the more likely scenario.
And since it will be v tight money-wise to secure a C if LA signed (prob limited to a Robin Lopez type) we can go the Davis/Lopez route and still get help at the 3 should he stay in Portland on a 5yr deal or land w/ the Sours.
Kobe & ball distribution- If Kobe does what he says this coming season by focusing on taking fewer but quality, highly efficient shots then I think we’ll be fine. Russell & Clarkson can both play off ball and if everyone makes hard cuts Russell will deliver the ball on target.
Should be an interesting week…
Buster Jones says
Excellent post Darius.
I know DeAndre is going to be a good deal as soon as the cap numbers go up next year, but I remain concerned about his ability to stay on the court late in games when his team has a small lead / small deficit. Being forced to watch the hack a Shaq for so many years has permanently scarred my soul, and DJ shoots worse than Shaq.
I could get behind Robin Lopez, but I feel his market value is considerably higher than Chandler’s. Also, I believe Ty is a better mentor and also has a positive history with Byron Scott after his stint in New Orleans transformed his career.
A good read about Chandler:
He’s very well suited to our situation, and he signed up to play for the Knicks for Pete’s sake, so you know he doesn’t mind a challenge. Come on Mitch, bring our boy back to LA!
I’m not particularly enamored with any single FA this time around. I’d rather keep my money in the bank and go after KD and AD. That being said, they will want to see us as being contenders once they join. As such, big short term-deals are what I’d offer folks like LA or Tyson Chandler. They’d probably want to opt out after this year to cash in on the 2016 bonanza anyway.
Craig W. says
Talk of overpaying players this summer is nonsense. Everyone will be overpaying based on what has been the norm. This is due to the salary cap situation next year, i.e. all players will want more to sign this year, unless they settle for one-year contracts.
Should we sign LA or DJ we will have spent ~ $20M of our cap. That will pretty much be it, if we expect to sign Davis and Ellington. That should be factoring into our plan. LA will probably want a long term contract, because of his age, and DJ may want a shorter contract, because of his age. We will sign one of these players, because we need the veteran presence and to provide some stability for the young players to develop in.
Chandler won’t sign with us because it will be a waste of his already few remaining productive years.
If we sign R. Lopez or G. Monroe then signing a wing may be in play. However, all the players mentioned above will get much more money this year and we still may not be able to sign them under the cap. If this is the situation, then we absolutely need to overpay to keep E. Davis and W. Ellington – we can’t lose them.
I think we roll the dice and do not sign a veteran PG at anything over the vet minimum – too many potentially good guards already on the roster, even if most of them need development.
Mouse if we sign say LA to a max after this season Kobe comes of the books and with the cap space going up the way it will we still going to have a ton of money after next season, more that what we have available this summer. We will have money to pay a KD and then some
Craig W. says
About LA and DJ…
LA may be available to the Lakers because the Spurs window is so narrow. If he signs there and they miss in the next year or two, his career is too far gone to ever be able to compete for a ring. The Lakers are in the opposite situation, with little likelyhood of a ring in the next two years, but the window opening beyond that.
For DJ: he wants to be more the center of the team, because he is tired of being the 3rd fiddle. The Mavs are a much better landing spot than the Lakers in that regard, because the Lakers have Kobe next year and already have picked out two players who could succeed him. The Mavs only have an aging Dirk and he could be more central to what they do.This is why I think we are swinging hard, but will ultimately strike out with DJ. We don’t fit with what he desires.
Fyi someone like KD next year will be asking for a 30 mil per year deal …. higher than kobe’s coming off the books
If we somehow kept our lottery pick nwxt year we wouldn’t actually have the space for a max guy next year depending on how much we commit this year
Patrick Lanigan says
If the Lakers legitimately think that Durant or Butler are in play next summer, don’t they need to go all in on DAJ?
A starting 5 of Russell, Clarkson, Butler/Durant, Randle, and Jordan, with reserves like Nance, Brown, and the center from Washington if he stays clean is a damn fine rotation.
Is it possible to get both Durant next summer and the top big man (like Jordan) now?
The Lakers will have kobe coming off the books plus and increment in the cap from 67 to 89 million thats 47 mill in cap space right there next summer available and in 2018 is going to increase to 108 million, so yeah the Lakers can pay KD and then some like i said.
If they get LMA, they also have to get Robin Lopez to play center. If they get DJ, they can get a cheap SF like Aminu or Gerald Green.
I said all last season lakers will not get a top tier free agent to join lakers as long as scott is the coach and/kobe is around. Pop will meet with aldridge tomorrow. Thats where he will go. Gasol and love is a perfect example of what i said and yet this forum has continuously talked those players up. I really like the core of the lakers right now and think with a good 2nd tier player pickup in there they can make the playoffs. hopefully with a new coach sometime this yr. Should be an interesting week for all of us
It’s important to remember we have basically four max contracts to hand out the next two years after this one. Are any of the free agents available this year better than any of these four players two years from now and then moving forward when we will be able to compete for championships… Durant/Westbrook/Davis/Greek Freak/Blake Griffen/Chris Paul/Serge Ibaka and so on.
Now the one guy the Lakers could ligetimatley be eyeing us Deandre Jordan. Because he is a Center and isn’t too old at 27 next year. He isn’t on the tame window as our young draft picks but he would be with most of the free agents we could sign. And because he is a Center and there is no quality center available in free agency the next few years it makes him more valuable.
Of course Jordan is at best an above average NBA player (he has room to grow) and the Lakers might have stolen an average NBA center (Upshaw) who will be paid pennies. In my opinion while Jordan is the only free agent this summer one could argue the Lakers should pursue I think it’s important we pass on him to keep all our options open in a time we finally have room to grow with endless opportunities moving forward after just one more year of tanking.
Next year we can watch all our kids grow and mature while maybe stealing one more top lottery pick and saying a long goodbye to Kobe Bryant. But that’s just me (said in my best Alec Baldwin voice)
The max for KD next year will be just over ~$25m. The Lakers will have well over $40m in cap space even if they use all of their cap this year.
Fern – frankly speaking I’m not too enamored with LA – he’s a sweet shooting big, who is not a + defender. Now maybe that’s a Portland situation, and a change of scenery will do him wonders. I don’t know. Based on LA knocking on his door at 9:01 pm today, I believe the FO is inclined to agree with you 🙂
Next Year – being 2016/2017 – KD could sign for 27mil per year – 30% of 90mil cap
The year after he can sign for 37.8mil per year – 35% of 108 mil cap … Wow … almost 40mil per year … crazy … why anyone would ever choose football over basketball for their career astounds me
the article is a pretty good read as it discusses how this will be a crazy FA period but also very important as an ability to sign anyone this year will be worth it as they will seem cheap when the cap goes up …. it also discusses a fear for me in that we strike out … it’s important to sign someone this year when we are one of a few teams with space compared to next when many have space … given his explanation on LA’s situation I think it could be very realistic that he comes here next year on a short deal
He could go to San Antonio but he will have at most 1-2 seasons with Duncun and possibly parker being good … parker was arguably bad last year which would leave only a core of him and leonard
If he comes here he has 3 stud young guys to help the team as he gets older plus with him here we can probably sign good role players and still get another max guy next year … and strong role players the year after
I doubt anyone will take on splitters 8mil per contract off the spurs hands
Very exciting times
LA has his deficiencies, no player is perfect but i we add him i think is a good addition because beside Kobe we would need more veteran leadership and get some pressure off these youngsters. DJ ft shooting is beyond horrendous and i really dont want to see anymore of that hack-a- whoever junk. Any addition would be a good adition though, we might have a good shot with LA and everybody agrees he is the best of the bunch. We will see, let’s the games begin!!!
lil pau says
Has everyone forgotten what still seems to me the most likely option, a certain young but wildly talented headcase currently plying his trade in sacramento.
plus, there’s this:
that’s me waiting for aaron to say ‘i told you so’
Presented without additional comment:
last I heard, Sac was looking to get rid of Karl and bring in …wait for it … Calipari.
Darius Soriano says
I don’t want to get into trade speculation here, but I do think several media outlets took Heisler’s report and ran with it like it was fact *and* that it was something actively happening. His sentence structure was, basically, “they would have done it and still would do it, if that’s all it took” but reports are that the Lakers are “making inquiries” or “actively trying” when, from what I have heard that is not the case. In any event, I’m not going to get into this here and don’t want trade speculation in the comments. Just a comment on how a “report” is born in today’s media climate.
Baylor Fan says
First of all, keep this year’s draft picks and use next year to find out what they and Randle (and hopefully Upshaw) can do. Go after Green hard and force San Antonio to commit to him or let him go. If SA commits then they are out of the FA market. If they do not, Green would be a great pick up on a relatively affordable salary. The Lakers would be primed for next off season with a solid young base, lots of money, and be a lot more desirable for FAs.
I don’t see LA as being a good fit. What concerns me is his age and mileage. He’s averaged 11 missed games a year for the past three seasons. So at age 29 his trend is missing 15% of his team’s games. What will his trend be when he hits age 30 and beyond?
My other concern is his on court production. I see him continuing another trend of moving further and further away from the basket (contact) and becoming just a soft jump shooting stretch four. I think he’s peaked statistically and don’t understand why the FO would gamble that his decline will be gradual enough to make the later years of the contract appear reasonable.
Talk of Aldridge providing veteran leadership is silly. He’s had a stud PG (Lillard), capable SGs (Mathews/Afflalo), an in demand SF (Batam) and a center everyone at FBG wants to sign (Lopez) plius a billionaire owner and has done nothing in the post season.
What exactly are we getting for 4 years and $80 + million? This feels like a Jim Buss move and not a Mitch move.
@ Lil Pau: That link made me sick. After trying his best to crater the Lakers, Jim Buss has a chance to turn the lemons of these past two years into lemonade.
If he throws away all of the youth and cap flexibility he earned by orchestrating the worst seasons in Lakers history on Cousins and Aldridge then he will deserve the push back that will inevitably come from presiding over the longest sustained period of futility in Lakers history.
I told you so!!!!!!
@Shaun Yeah it depends on what LMA wants. He really hasn’t said. If he wants a younger team with potential next year he would go Lakers (If they sign him the story becomes how stars want to go back to LA and just because of media and perception it makes the Lakers a bigger draw which is weird in a way). If he wants to make one or two title runs right now he goes Spurs (who would lose their depth but form a big 4 of Duncan, Parker, Kwahi and LMA). Of course then the Spurs are rebuilding around Kwahi and LMA and not much else. It is not as easy of a decision as people think. Now also remember his kids go to school in SA and you want to be around your kids as much as possible. He also lives most of the time down the block from Kobe in Newport. To me those seem to be the only two real teams for him, but both have a lot of appeal. And can people please limit the Upshaw hype.
Upshaw is a good gamble, but the more talented Beasley had less drug issues in college and still can’t be an NBA player, so why are we pretending that Upshaw gets it. For a player of Upshaws ability to get kicked off a team he would have gotten caught at least 3 times with pot. And if you add in the fact that he was kicked off two colleges you have to assume he was caught 6 times! And that means he not only got a warning and did it again but actually got kicked off a team then got caught 3 more times to be kicked off another team. There is a 95% chance he does not stay on an NBA team. That’s why teams didn’t waste a draft pick on him. I am sure he is a good kid, but he makes bad decisions. I hope he gets his life together, but you can not count on that.
This is a really great breakdown of what the Lakers should take a shot during this free agency. I do like how you put Robin Lopez as the third option to get for centre. Yes he might not be the best offensive low post player, but Lakers need defense, as much as they can. DeAndre Jordan can be a great fit, but from recent drama with CP3 about wanting to be “more involved” in offense might just remain the same if he joins that Lakers because of Julius Randle’s game and all the guards that Lakers has. However, Lopez can be there for the defense just like his game in the Trail Blazers. Another option that I have in Centre position is Bismack Biyombo. He could be a cheap option to pry from the Hornets and can be another great defensive player. While also getting Ed Davis back (hoping he can get a pay cut like 5-6 million not 10).
(edited for trade speculation)
For the solid PG to backup Russell and Clarkson, why not try Jeremy Lin? Yes, he did have a bad year. However, I would say there is a lot of ups and downs for players, and we just expected he can redo his linsanity thing once again when he comes to Hollywoods, but this is basketball, not a movie. He is a solid backup PG, and a really good one. We saw it in the second half of the season. When Byron Scott let him free and play PnR with Ed Davis, he is a great player. Yet, having him as a backup playing with Clarkson or Russell off the ball, he can be the sharp shooter that we know from linsanity, so why not make a move with Lin if he only takes around 7 million or less.
After all, if my case works, the Lakers might even be under the cap or just touching it. Spending loads for free agents is great as long as it’s reason able. My “ideal” lineup:
Guards: Russell, Bryant, Clarkson, Lin, J.Brown
Forwards: Ross, Randle, A.Brown, Nance, Kelly, (Henry)
Bigs: Lopez, Black, Davis, Sacre
(Starting: PG-Russell, SG-Ross, SF-Bryant, PF-Randle, C-Lopez)
By the way, I didn’t put Ellington or Price because there are too much guards in the roster, we need more minutes for Clarkson and Russell.
Also, honestly big names might not be needed. Stars takes up too much payroll, this should be a decent team and if Kobe does play less and keep his body by playing off the ball more, we could have another star like KD to get another ring for Kobe. Just play to first round or second round this year and I do think this roster can achieve it.
Thoughts on Biyombo as our defensive center?
Pros: He’s only 22, super athletic and although I haven’t watched his game that closely: Hornets fans are really high on him:
Cons: Adding another 22 year old onto a roster with Randall, Clarkson and Russell. Still needs development work and unsure if he’s fit to be a starter at this stage of his career.
I think we should slow down about being so eager to spend $30 mil of our cap space on Kevin Durant next off season. Let’s see if he is able to stay healthy and play without pain.
I think I am on record as being very cautious when it comes to signing older players. It doesn’t matter how impressive their stats are with their previous team if they aren’t healthy and producing for the Lakers. This has long been my fear of Jim Buss — that he would manage the team like a fan. That he would treat players as if they were ageless wonders and expect past performance to continue well into the future. Well clearly, that is not true.
Age, injuries, minutes, mileage and wear/tear matter.
I think all of this talk o LMA peaking is overblown. He had his best statistical year last year. And I think that his game ages well like TD or Nowitzki (or Pau Gasol!), all of whom have been very productive into their mid- and/or late-30s. Gasol at 34 posted his best numbers in 5 seasons. Clearly, at age 36, Nowitzki’s game has declined, but he is still posting near all-star numbers. TD has shown even more resilience, with a PER above 21 every season. You might argue that LMA is not that caliber of player, but these are people cut from a similar cloth. I think LMA is a great get if we can’t sign Jordan.
George, it’s not the same situation im not talking about Portland,different roster different scenario,and those guys you mentioned are veteran players. Our youngsters are a different scenario with a lot of variables and btw LA had some monster games in the postseason,who you suggest then? Like i said i would be ok with whoever we sign but we do need that veteran leadership in this team with such a young core Kobe leadership style need a counterbalance.29 years old is considered middle of his prime, I think 23 and 10 are noting to sneeze at,but maybe that’s just me. And i read that article and it means absolutely nothing,of course the Lakers would trade Russell for Cousins straight up,and even taking out the fact that their salaries wont match it would be absolutely beyond stupid if Sacto do a trade like this. That LA would trade Russell for Cousins straight up if he could is something my smaller kid knows.
I believe alcohal is Upshaw’s main problem and is what got him kicked out of two programs. And that is a much bigger deal than cannibis especially for an athlete
i say we go w/ two strong role players this summer (my big/wing targets would be kosta koufos / danny green) instead of one superstar (more specifically, a superstar contract) and scraps. i’m not enthralled enough w/ aldridge (age) or jordan (ft woes) to give them the money they’re asking for. green is desirable for obvious reasons; re: koufos, i see him being able to step into a starter role while not requiring the ball to be impactful. he’ll need to tone down his foul rate, but he’s a good defending c that can be had for min).
There will always be exceptions. The larger point is that the Lakers have younger, cheaper and better fitting alternatives. The Bulls were capped out and perceived Gasol to be the one missing piece – in that context then he’s worth the risk. Nowitzki is already on the team he wasn’t acquired by the Mavs at age 30.
Again, the Lakers have younger, cheaper and better fitting alternatives. Why the FO would consider rolling the dice on LA as if they were one player away is a mystery to me?
Craig W. says
The one things fans can’t seem to get their hands around in the off-season (me included) is the concept of chemistry and team. That is something that is developed in training camp and early in the season, but there are certain components that are fairly known.
– There have to be veterans around to help youngsters learn how to survive, never mind win, throughout the NBA season.
– If your team is not planning to make a long post-season run, then balance is not as important as being really good at a specific part of the game.
– You will lose some players to injury over an 82 game season
– In Los Angeles you need a star to pay to see
You are going to compromise some of your long-term planning for the things above, simply to field a somewhat competitive team and keep the players together and focused. For this reason I think the Lakers go after LA hard and plan for Monroe or R. Lopez as a backup plan. I think a wing player is nice, but is strictly a backup to our need for a center.
How about resigning Ed Davis to a reasonable deal and bringing in Tobias Harris? Davis avoids the risk of an older Aldridge, the concerns that many have with Greg Monroe and the expense of Jordan. His cost allows the Lakers to pursue one of the ‘getable’ RFA’s in Harris. Tobias is a young stud and instantly becomes part of our young/talented core. Russell, Clarkson, Randle and Harris would certainly attract free agents in the future.
I mean do you sign Deandre? 26 now. 27 next year. Durant/Westbrook are just a little younger. That core would be in prime. And your young core would be early 20’s of Russell/Clarkson/Anthony Davis/Randle. If you can’t trade for cousins it might be a smart play I guess. Because there is no center available in free agency next couple years. And Jordan will age very well. He is that kind of athlete that is just now just getting more coordinated. And you need a good center if you want to seduce Anthony Davis.
I think the Lakers feel they need a star even if its a washed up one (like – god forbid – Rondo) or one that will not take them anywhere in particular (like LA).
It’s a business decision. They feel they need start generated buzz – and its hard for me to disagree although as a fan it sometimes makes me want to hurl.
However I would argue they already have a washed up star on board. I hope I’m wrong; we shall see this upcoming season. Robert, if I’m right I expect to be appointed as your senior consultant with a small ownership stake.
Re: your comments on Robert Upshaw, I don’t know of too many commentors on this site who are not wary of Upshaw. As you note, he’s been dismissed from two college programs (Fresno State and U. of Washington) and clearly seems to have a problem of some sort.
The good news (if you can call it that) is that he’s young. Upshaw is only 21 y.o. (birthday: 1/5/94). It’s much easier to confront your demons at 21 than it is at 51 when you have years of personal history weighing down upon you. If he can get help (and apparently he has done that) and if he can keep his nose clean, then he could have a future in the NBA. But he has to watch his step. I’m sure that the Lakers will be monitoring him closely, maybe every day.
Having said that, Upshaw does offer an intriguing set of skills. He’s actually fairly talented on both ends of the court (more so on defense). He’s 6’10.75 in bare feet (7′ in shoes), 258 lbs. (6 lbs. less that he played at recently at Washington) and has a 7’5.5 wingspan and a 9’5 standing reach (all figures from the recent 2015 NBA Draft Combine).
He averaged 10.9 pts. per game (in 24.9 minutes at 59.3%), 8.2 rebounds, and 4.5 blocks per game which led the NCAA by a wide margin. He’s a true rim-protector. Recent video of him working out in Santa Barbara a few weeks ago shows him shooting effectively from 20′ as well as banging down low and just overpowering everyone. DraftExpress.com ranked him as the #5 center in the draft behind Towns, Okafor, Cauley-Stein, and Myles Turner. They projected him as the 45th player to be chosen. Other draft boards had him projected in the late first round.
Instead, eleven centers were chosen in the draft and he was not among them. This had to be quite a slap in the face to him. Reality can be harsh. Obviously, teams are wary of Upshaw as they should be. But if he were somehow to get his head screwed on straight, he could be a real force. The next 2-6 months could be very telling. His entire career could be hanging in the balance.
BTW, in summer league the first game has him going up against Okafor. His 2nd game has him going up against Towns. This could be very interesting.
But the young fellow has a lot of work to do. He has much bigger issues in his life than I do. I for one wish him well.
I hope that after the Draft that Cousins trade is kaput, the Kings would demand everything that is not bolted down and now after the Draft it would be a huge setback. I was all for it before the Draft not after.
You need LA as the anchor of offense after getting slashers on the inside, Kobe and LA handles the perimeter. Next is the rim protector based on their assets and liabilities. Well, we are familiar with DeAndre, can he be improved to Shaquille standard? We also know Robin’s limitations and his team never advanced to a respectable Conference Finals so no data to bank of becoming a Superstar. I’m sure Team Kupchak learned from Dwight debacle 2 years ago so they have several plans in store for their goals. Plan A – La and Dj; Plan B – Dj and Jimmy; Plan C – Robin and De Marre; Plan D – Kuopos and D Green.
Evaluating all the plans above, our team will be in a better position than last season assuming we can re-sign our former players who are on the outside looking in like Davis, Black, Ellington.
Why would these FA’s want to be a Laker? Obviously, first and foremost, business aspect and Lakers have 24m to burn; secondly, fame and the history of the brand; thirdly, weather and diversity of fans (everywhere you go there are Laker fans. FA’s have egos who want to belong to those cobweb jerseys and attention.); fourthly, Hollywood gravita, if you are a Laker you’re part of the Jones’es and glamour; and final reason, the potential of our youth combined with veteran acquisitions as anchors and the team’s yearly quest in acquiring more FA’s better than you are in the future. So why not grab that loot now?
It is like applying an ideal job, you include in your evaluation the Lakers outlook of their future. If you bypass the Lakers like Howard, the clown, future Superstars will fill that job, maybe Durant, Lebron, Melo, Klay Thompson, A. Davis. Being a Laker is a blue chip business because it is always focus on money and fame. We may a dysfunctional Buss family who learning the hard way but the pressure of its fans , the history of the franchise forced them to be better custodians on a guided growth.
Is there a team today that can offer those parameters aforementioned?
Good post and discussion. As I said a month or so ago, I like the symmetry if the Lakers get Aminu; he was one of the guys the Clippers traded to NO to land Paul.
I’ve come around — I really want Jordan badly. He’s 3 years younger than Aldridge and only 1 year older than Monroe. As long as he is willing to work on his free throws (needs to get to 60%) I see no downside to bringing him on board.
He says he want to get more touches and play a more integral role on offense. Until Russell and Randle mature and develop he would be the #1 or #2 option. Aside from Paul, no one on the Clippers really passed the ball a lot or well. So Jordan often times would not see the ball except for an offensive put back or a transition dunk.
I know Dallas is pushing to get him and obviously the Clippers want to keep him. The Lakers have expressed interest but I don’t know if they are serious or even if its reciprocal? Wasn’t Kobe recruiting him? How is that going?
If we get Jordan it would close shop on other free agents this summer. However, I would call this a great off season if we add Russell and Jordan.
No reason why the Lakers shouldn’t have Paul Millsap on their list.
Speaking of Marc Gasol, I read there is no outside chance of getting because Pau’s last year’s with the Lakers. That was last year, ask him now whether he can consider his tenure with the Bulls was more exciting than his playing days with the Lakers. Ask Pau whether his time with Memphis was as memorable as when his time with the Lakers. Is Chicago home better than life at Manhattan beach where you can take siesta and imagining that you in are in Costa del Sol. Can you to that along lakeshore with the whole wide Lake Michigan as your view , shivering from cold during NBA season?
Mar may not opt for the lakers transfer because he is happy where he is now. In fact, Pau may be imagining whether Lakers will hang his jersey in the future. I think Michael Cooper jersey will be raised first before Pau.
For me, having strong passing guards like Russell and Clarkson in the fold means that it’s not important for our pickups this summer to be able to create their own shot – they just need to be able to hit the shots they get (spot up 3s for the wings, pick and roll for the bigs). Additionally, we should absolutely stay away from players that are unproductive w/out the ball in their hands (talking specifically about Harris). The most valuable free agents for this team will be the ones that can elevate us on the defensive end. Fortunately, this is a good summer for teams looking to fill that need.
Looking forward to seeing Upshaw vs. KAT and Okafor in Summer League. See how far he has to go to get to the top rookie tier. A lot of raw talent,but needs work on the basics of positioning and post defense. Stunned will be the only word for the League pundits, if either DJ or LA sign with Lakers. Me too!
I hate to poop on everyone’s parade, but the Lakers have continued to try for a magical transformation as if the days of old could repeat themselves. They have not started with what they have and a realistic 3-5 year plan: I doubt that they have any plan at all.
Why would any player come to the Lakers over almost any competing franchise? Buss family track record? Mitch’s timely trades and ability to recruit coaches, staff, and superstars? Kobe will be back as damaged goods–and one year older. Everyone else is gone. What team\/superstars can emerge next year from the current hodge-podge? What is there for anyone to believe in?
There has to be a plan and staff to carry out that plan before a competitive team can emerge. Nothing that’s happened so far that convinces me we’re on the right track.
I think that Millsap is too redundant with Randle, and he doesn’t give us the size we need inside. If anything, he will take minutes from Randle and hamper his development. And I love Millsap, I’ve been dreaming about him becoming a Laker for a long time. But now isn’t the time, I don’t think.
Adrian Wojnarowski @WojYahooNBA 41m41 minutes ago:
Around the league, executives believe the Lakers are pursuing space to offer free agent deals to LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan.
Besides dumping swaggy how else can lakers creates cap space ? Don’t tell me they are going to attach randle or Russell to any swaggy trade to create additional space to sign Aldridge who’s best days are behind him! Sign Jordan and one of Corey brewer, aminu, or another mid tier sf and call it a successful summer Mitch!!
Todd, that is an interesting report. I imagine that would mean that they are shopping Swaggy P. Whatever they do, I hope they keep Randle, Russell and Clarkson. Swinging for the fences and getting DJ and LA with a declining Kobe IMO is not going to get the team into contention. I still believe that even with those two signed the team is still 2 yrs out from contending. Young upcoming players will be key to a long competitive contention period.
Even if they shop Young, Lakers will only have ~$30M max; no way they make that work for Aldridge & Jordan unless (1) those two accept well below max, (2) kobe gets traded, neither of which will (or should) happen.
Now Howard beck saying he has heard package deal of chandler and love to lakers. Rumors flying all over the place. I would not give up an up and coming Julius rankle on a rookie deal for overrated and past his peak Aldridge.
Mitch would know that giving up Randle would be a foolish move right? I mean Aldrigde is elite for what one more year, then its a downside slide. Randle is a few years from being teh player he will be. But if he’s good he’ll be that way for a long while. Plus we get to pay Aldridge $15 million more than Randle’s salary.
How is that an even exchange? Mitch has a UCLA MBA – he must know something about valuing business assets, right?
Someone, talk me off the ledge.
Todd June 30, 2015 at 4:41 pm
Adrian Wojnarowski @WojYahooNBA 41m41 minutes ago:
Around the league, executives believe the Lakers are pursuing space to offer free agent deals to LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan.
If the FO is actually trying to do this, then that just draws another line under the length of deals the given to Kobe and Young.
rr: If the FO is actually trying to do this, then that just draws another line under the length of deals the given to Kobe and Young.
My thoughts exactly. Funny, we are trying to get back the cap space that we actually were on the verge of having before the Kobe extension. The Young deal was simply adding insult to injury.
That should obviously say, “length of the deals.”
Yeah, giving KB the deal they did was pretty much saying, “July 2016 or later is when we make the big move in FA.” If they wanted to try to pull off something huge like this now, then they should have given Kobe one year, and offered Young one year, take it or leave it. Or, failing that, they could have offered Kobe a lot less money per year if he had to have two years and they didn’t want to play hardball with him.
But if Woj’s report is accurate, then this is just more zig-zagging. And I say that even though I am not as high on Randle as many here are.
Interesting read by Larry Coon on what the Lakers are trying to do:
Larry reaches the same conclusion we all do, that its not possible to fit both Jordan and LA in as max free agents. However, the article does not alleviate my fear about signing Jordan and then doing a sign and trade with Portland for LA (which likely would include Randle).
Regarding a possible sign and trade, Larry adds a note from Eric Pincus:
Eric Pincus points out that another scenario is a sign-and trade. If the Lakers kept some of their free agents, they potentially could sign Jordan with their cap room, and then compile enough salary (about $13.8 million) to instrument a sign-and-trade with the Blazers for Aldridge.
-@ Oldtimer: “In fact, Pau may be imagining whether Lakers will hang his jersey in the future. I think Michael Cooper jersey will be raised first before Pau.” Usually you have good stuff, but not this time. Coop was my man. Loved the Coop-a-loops and the way he harassed Bird into turnovers…but his #21 won’t be hanging from the rafters. Since the last time he wore it in ’90, the Lakers have assigned it to six pretty forgettable guys:
Ruben Patterson (1999)
Kareem Rush (2003-2005)
Ronny Turiaf (2006-2008)
Josh Powell (2009-2010)
Chris Duhon (2013)
Ed Davis (2015-present)
Now Gasol on the other hand is a shoe in to have his #16 retired by the Lakers. He’s simply the best, most productive power forward to ever wear a Laker uniform (Baylor was a 3, and The Mailman only played 42 games w/ our Lakers)and also a pretty good center. In addition, he was quite instrumental in the last two titles won by the Lakers. ’09 championship post-season: 23.8 ppg/ 14.1rpg, 58%fga. ’10 championship post-season: 26.4/ 15.0/ 54%.
No question…his #16 will fly from the Lakers rafters. As a matter of fact no one else has wore the #16 on the Grizz since Gasol left in ’08. Yes, he went 0-12 in three post seasons with Memphis, but he’s still one of the best to ever wear a Grizzles uniform. So his #16 will also hang there…the 1st Grizzles # to ever be retired.
BigCity, don’t the Lakers only allow the jerseys of HOF dwellers to hang high? No problem even if true; I expect Pau to make the Hall.
Just read the Larry Coon article which mentions the Lakers could offer max deals to LMA & DJ by waiving and stretching Kobe. I’d do it in a heart beat!
J C says
HOFers only hang from the rafters.
Lots of rumors and “reports”. The FO has always been really good about keeping secret their plans, trades and signings (see Pau trade and one Russell pick). So until they announce it, I’m going to just wait and see. Whatever happens, please don’t mortgage the team’s youth and future for aging stars on the downside Mitch. Thanks!
What do you do if there are many free agents but only one lakers max slot? You make more Lakers max slots. Well done agents. These guys are good.
I would be ok with them stretching Kobe’s contract out or trading him but it’s not going to happen. I would be surprise if they did.
Craig W. says
Again: because someone float’s a rumor and someone else picks up on it doesn’t mean that rumor is true. I think some fans are simply obsessing on their own fears.
Craig W: I think many of us fans are justifiably concerned. We are coming off of our two worst seasons ever orchestrated by this very same FO. The fear is that the poor decisions we have seen so frequently these past few years will return.
FRONT OFFICE! DO YOUR BEST!!
Adrian Wojnarowski @WojYahooNBA
New Orleans star Anthony Davis has agreed to a five-year, $145 million maximum contract extension, league source tells Yahoo Sports.
@NBARUMORS: Adrian Wojnarowski: New Orleans star Anthony Davis has agreed to a five-year, $145 million maximum contract extension
So much for Aaron’s prediction… Wrong again!!
@KBergCBS: As expected, Kawhi Leonard and Spurs waste no time agreeing to five-year, $90 million max extension, league source confirms.
Davis’ deal has opt-out, supposedly–but not until the 4th year.
Ummmm… I might not post on here for a few years. This hurts. This really really hurts. This doesn’t make sense. What’s the worst is we get to watch the world best talent waste his prime years in Siberia with average talent around him. Lebron all over again.
CraigW don’t know if you were referring to me, but I am totally fearless with respect to the NBA and the Lakers. However, I would prefer that the Lakers stop sucking, and now would be as good a time as any for them to stop (sucking, that is).
@NBARUMORS: Adrian Wojnarowski: Free agent Aminu Al-Farouq has agreed to a four year, $30 million deal with Portland, cant believe this market if aminu can get that much $$$
Woj: Aminu to POR for 4/30.
Aaron, don’t feel too bad; obviously the dude is money crazed to the point of having no dignity.
I mean, you saw the painfully idiotic commercials he appeared in during the Finals.
Playground ball against Pac man? Uh, OK.
The reason this is a shock to everyone is because he is costing himself a lot of money. There is maybe one injury (Achilles) that would cost him a max contract in two years that would pay him over thirty million a season. Plus the fact there is no good talent around him and little cap space to come. For money and for wining it doesn’t make sense. Maybe he is already in debt…
I hope that rumors of including Randle in any deal are just that. With so much young talent staying put the Lakers can’t afford to trade young talent for older veterans.
The price of young talent is going through the roof.
I see Kevin Love up there in the sidebar–and he is meeting with the Lakers. Maybe this double-shot FO Hail Mary thing will be Love and Jordan. They are the exact same age more or less, have ties to LA, and they fit well on-floor.
Of course, if Love comes here, Aaron will need to be in FBG suicide watch. 😉
AD’s contract is one reason to hold on to our rookies and see how they develop. Home team has a big monetary advantage in keeping them. I think the FA strategy is changing. It looks like the strategy for the home team is to offer max extensions to promising players to keep them longer, but give them an option to retest the market before the end of the contract. For big name UFAs who are more financially secure they become more attractive because they MAY be more willing to leave money on the table in pursuit of a title.
Why is the deal so high? Does it take into account he future cap? Is that allowed?
Aminus deal is a lot and will be a bar for most FAs at this point ….. how much will affalo get?
If we sign Love everyone will get their wish… I will be ending my FB&G life. I can’t live in an online world where my real word basketball team thinks Kevin Love is a max player. I don’t want to root for that team. I can’t let myself root for that team.
Google “Derrick Rose Rule”
Craig W. says
It was obvious teams would overpay severely, based on our idea of worth under the old salary cap. Life is really changing next year and this is the year to strike a deal – in new world terms.
Since it was so obvious and even advertised as such, why are people surprised? We will get only one good free-agent this year – if we are somewhat lucky.
Craig W. says
Now you-all understand why the Lakers were going to max-offer LA ASAP and hope his good feeling translates to accepting our offer. It is a great deal in next summer’s world.
Yes to Jordan
No to LA
Craig W. says
The Lakers met with LA first thing 9:01, therefore he will get the first max offer – his choice of option years.
BCS, got it. I hope the Gasol’s will no longer trash the Lakers if Pau wants to be part of the memory wall in the future.
Any inside info on LA, has he made the decision yet? Or sleep over with his four year deal with the beggars. Lol!
That LA and Jordan rumor if true show little do we know, im really skeptical about it. The only way this could work i believe is if they take under market value 1 year deals and then try to take advantage of whats goint to be an overpaying bonanza next summer. A move like this if we dont lose anybody would make the Lakers a superpower right away but it reminds me too much of 2012. Got to give the FO credit for thinking big. The Spurs are going to max Leonard i believe. Can somebody what that means regarding LA?
Re the report of us clearing cap space. There’s no way LA and DJ can or/ should both sign with our team. Now, LA and Chandler/Lopez, with a little creativity, could. My math says that with a max contract of 19mil to LA, that would leave abt $5mil for the other FA. That is if Young stays on books. If we can trade him, then we’ve got about $9mil for 2nd FA. Of course if we do a max to the likes of Harris/Middleton/Butler, at $16mil, that would leave $8mil for Chandler, Lopez or Davis even if we keep Swaggy. That would likely do it. If we get Green at say, 10-12mil, we might even have space for 2 FA bigs, including Davis.
I’ll half-heartedly concede that Monroe doesnt have the defensive prowess at this point in his career, since post defensive is a tangible skill that has many different technical components to it – not worth getting into.
But you’re dead wrong about Tobias Harris, and discounting him because he isn’t a “defensive minded player.” Great defenses aren’t made of 5 “defensive minded players,” they first and foremost start with a solid defensive system implemented by the coaching staff. Then, all that you can ask for is that players buy into their roles in that system, and are athletic, and motivated enough to do so.
Seeing that Tobias is a long 6’9″ 240lb SF, who is pretty agile considering that’s decent size for a PF, defense should not be a knock on him. I think your using “defensive minded player” to try and compensate for the lack of offensive talent/versatility of higher players on your board.
Additionally the kid is 22, and coachable. In the right locker room w good coaching, the effort will be there. And as for the 15M a year we would have to pay him – should not be a concern considering how good of a player he is already, the upside potential, and the cap is getting raised next year.
Only reason he should be low on anyone’s board is if the Lakers feel they have a legitimate shot at landing Jimmy Butler or KD in the future
I think Craig W. makes some good points with his post from 10:15pm. It isn’t clear to me that players, agents, and front offices fully understand the implications of all the changes from the past few years; too many variables at play leading to unknown unknowns. Given the fluid situation, I think it is impossible to say with certainty player X will do this and player Y will do that. Observers can take a guess, as educated as possible, but I think many of the old ways of thinking about these issues are rapidly fading away. [Yeah, it might still all be about the money, but the details behind each player’s decisions regarding that money are hidden from fans.]
I think Mitch has stated this a few times himself. Despite what a lot of fans think, it’s simply not clear what a team should do to rise to contention. If it was, everyone would do it. And, if the Lakers had some magic advantage given history, location, etc, then I think by now we would have seen some positive benefits.
Its a new world and is still changing. Tough to build from the ground up in this environment without having incredible patience. I think that is what I would like to see from the Lakers FO.
It was reported LA meeting went well and Kobe made a good pitch, it lasted till 11:00 pm then Mitch and Byron fly to NY to talk to Monroe and back to Los Angeles to deal with DJ.
So far Lakers are active in all fronts except in keeping Swaggy P and Kelly. No takers on the the latter, I wonder why? This time they did not snub their good players with strong interest on Davis to re-sign, invited back Hill but not 9M. What more can you ask for from our FO. I say “A” for effort and due diligence to excel in all fronts including “slash and burn” cap space of competitors like Robin back to Nets at a rich contract of 60M. Clippers are interested to join the merry-go-round but no money to offer they just vie with the residuals like Wesley Johnson. Spurs are virtually checkmated on bidding, all they can offer is trade to give room for Aldridge. If LA wanted to join them he has to accept less money and Danny Green is on a free fall. They have to sign Leonard as their main post that wiould hold the team. Go Lakers give them hell this is our playoffs of 2015.
Davis signing an extension in NO is not a surprise. The new CBA was specifically designed to have huge monetary incentives for young superstar players to stay with the team that drafted them until they were ready for their second big contract. The small market teams felt like they drafted players like Davis only to help train them til they reached the beginning of their prime then have them go to a bigger market team. So not surprising. What is surprising is that reportedly he does not have a player option til his 4th year. I would have expected one in his 3rd year.
I like DJ as a defensive presence, but I don’t know if he is worth the max. His complete lack of offensive capability and dreadful free throw shooting is troubling. But a max this year will just be a high end second tier signing in the next few years once they cap balloons.
LA is a really good player, but his age does not really fit with the Lakers timeline for developing a contending team. They do need some vet presence to help stabilize the team as it grows. I would be happy if he comes here. I think his game will age well (or he will turn into what Jermaine O’neal was in his last few years).
Monroe is interesting, though is poor defense is troubling. Maybe you can sign him to a 3 year deal with a player option next year and a team option in the third. You can see if he improves next year in a different setting then decide if you want to keep him long term as he is likely to opt out to try and get the big money when the cap goes up.
Some of the FA small forwards would be nice additions. But the Lakers probably need a player that can be effective with a low usage. They already have Clarkson, and Russel (and Kobe for next year) who will all be high usage players.
Bummer about AD – I’m surprised he didn’t set up opt-outs for earlier as well.
How about Thomas Robinson? Good candidate for our PF spot ? Young, good athlete, hungry.
Warren Wee Lim says
Aaron June 30, 2015 at 10:08 pm
If we sign Love everyone will get their wish… I will be ending my FB&G life. I can’t live in an online world where my real word basketball team thinks Kevin Love is a max player. I don’t want to root for that team. I can’t let myself root for that team.
Just for pure fun, I hope we sign Kevin Love.
Erratum: Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young back to Nets, not Robin Lopez. So Lakers have still chance of snatching Robin. Lakers signed their own player Sacre, he is like your “garage wardrobe” in case you run out of Centers suits for the dapper Don. Hoho!
I thought we don’t value the slow foot tall men and we are now in the new wave of Curry Curry Curry, how come Lakers are chasing all Centers they can find including Upshaw? It is called gather them all and pick and choose later, supposing they all say Yes-yes, what will the Lakers do? Uump…I’ll think about it, will you go for VetMin and pay you later? Hoho!
nik kannan says
I don’t think Lakers can use stretch provision on Kobe as they used it on Ron Metta World Peace Artest a couple years back.
Craig W. says
I think you were thinking of the ‘amnesty’ provision and yes, you can only use it once.
If we are able to sign LA he will do two things – and his age will fit well with this team, IMO.
1) He can play either center or PF, allowing development of both Randle and Upshaw (I am hoping).
2) As he ages, both his contract becomes more team friendly and the younger players continue to develop – allowing him to play fewer minutes. Here is where his lack of current mileage and footwork based skill extend his prime years.
Brian P. says
You are thinking Amnesty. Stretch provision is something else.
– Neither Kobe or his contract are changing or going anywhere this upcoming season. I’m a bit surprised every Laker fan isn’t aware of this. THIS is the main reason a segment of Laker fans (including yours truly) had and still have issues with how his contract effects the salary cap and the Lakers ability to improve the team at this point…no more…no less.
The salary cap has increased:
“Teams have been operating on an estimated cap of $67.1 million for the 2015-16 season, but the National Basketball Players Association revealed at the annual agents’ summit in Los Angeles this week that the actual cap is expected to come in at least $1 million higher, and perhaps as much as $2 million higher”
Mitch and Byron flying to NY to interview Monroe is a bad sign. The ones we really want are Lopez or especially Chandler. Let’s hope Dallas signs Jordan, San Antonio gets LA & we get their leftovers Chandler and Green. What kind of contract do y’all think he or Lopez would command? Can we fit in Chandler, Green and Davis? Would Dallas or San Antone take Swaggy in a sign & trade?
Darius Soriano says
I never said Tobias Harris wasn’t a defensive minded center. What I said was, and I quote from the piece above, “But, he’s not really shown much beyond his scoring ability, isn’t the defender he should be considering his physical tools, and just doesn’t seem to do as many of the little things that help you win games.” If you think that’s unfair, that’s fine. But I stand by that. I’ve spoken with a few writers who cover the Magic and while all of them don’t completely agree on him, some were totally fine with letting him walk in FA, feeling that money could best be spent in other ways. This led me to go watch more tape on him and what I saw was a talented player who still left me skeptical.
Again, this doesn’t make him a bad player. And he’s still quite young with room to continue to improve.
New post please – the comment thread is tooooooooo loooooooong………
BCS, treat Kobe’s contract as Parthenon in the age of antiquity. Greece may suffer economic meltdown but the monument stays as-is.
I think they will get DeAndre because he’s comfortable in LA and has a vision of the future. LA may not be a done deal but Lakers are the “American Pharaoh” in that race. Everywhere he goes somebody is whispering to his ears to stay in Orange County during Winter. There are floods in Texas and Blazers are not happy camper either no one has the Championship roster anymore, and nobody can really boast that their the make up of their roster is better than the Lakers. Now how will Mitch re-structure the first year pay for these valued remains a mystery Have faith on Cupcake Magic.
Craig W. says
IMO – the additional monies won’t help us with LA, but may enable us to insure the ability to resign Ed Davis.
Spurs traded splitter to Hawks freeing cap space for Aldridge, he’s a much better fit there and the last missing piece for them.
Lakers need to sign Tyson chandler and either Love or Tobias Harris. Of course, it would help if some team can take swaggy of our hands!!
T. Rogers says
According to Woj the Lakers didn’t make a strong impression on Aldridge and the Spurs are in the drivers seat having now traded Splitter. The positive in that is the Lakers don’t have to waste anymore time there. Let LA go and make a strong play for Monroe or Chandler. DAJ is probably not happening either.
Adrian Wojnarowski ?@WojYahooNBA 6m6 minutes ago
Spurs are walking into the LaMarcus Aldridge meeting right now, armed with Danny Green, cap space and frontrunner status on luring Aldridge.
Very relieved that it would appear the Lakers will lose out on LA. I think we dodged a bullet here. Move onto younger and better fitting free agents.
Greens contract is ridiculous … milsap at 20mil per is ridiculous …. monta ellis could be a steal … he should tey amd ask for more from indy …. hes definately better than green
If SA gets aldridge all this talk about small ball winning is going to end … return of the twin towers…. ugh okafor
No cheap deals in this market …. we meed to press on monroe … Rlopez might get a max deal at this pace … at least 12mil per
And as stated both brook and thadeus resigned with brooklyn
Young assets are the prize in the NBA. So if you’re the Lakers and this free agency period may be one of the only opportunities to add good young talent why are you focusing your time, attention and assets on a 30 year old stretch four whose production is likely to decrease?
LA is a good fit for San Antonio – that franchise has a defined window due to the ages of Duncan etc. The Lakers don’t have a defined window because we really don’t know what we have yet. So why would our FO, in their infinite wisdom, sign a 30 year old player with at best a 3 year window? Aldridge doesn’t have the time to wait to see if Randle is a budding star or a brittle could have been. LA can’t wait to see if Russell is the real deal. Why would the FO add a player with such different expectations to the mix?
Additionally, what if the Lakers don’t gel right away. How do we move a max 32 year old Aldridge because he’s unhappy that we either can’t make the playoffs or we can’t get passed the first round? We see that now with the Knicks – they are stuck with a cap eating Melo because his age and production are not attractive.
The Lakers are like the recent college graduate with their whole life ahead of them. They meet a 30 year old divorcee at the bar and they start dating. Would you recommend that the young man marry that older woman — get tied down and sacrifice a path that would be best for him? You might counsel that young man not to. Sure, the relationship might be fun for a few years but its likely not going to work out well.
From the impeccable source Wikipedia: “when a team waives a player signed under the 2011 CBA, it can spread the remaining guaranteed salary (and its associated cap hit) over twice the remaining length of the contract, plus one year.”
They should call this escape hatch “the Jimmy Buss Rule”.
Brian P. says
DeMarre Carroll agrees to a 4-year, $60 million deal with Toronto
WHY DOES ROBERT SACRE STILL PLAY FOR THE LAKERS?
Yeah. I’m fine with the Splitter trade enhancing the chances of LA signing for SA. Disappointed tho that they can also now sign Green. Also, Dallas signing DJ would be fine, so long as they don’t sign & trade Tyson back to the Clips.
I always thought LA and DAJ were long-shots given where we were in the rebuilding process. LA is a good fit with the Spurs in terms of where he is in his career and where the Spurs are now that they have locked up Leonard and Green. All things being equal, meaning the same contract offers, which team offers the best chance to win a championship in the next few years. As for DAJ, we can offer money, but I’m not sure we can offer what he wants in terms of being “the Man.”
Given the rules of the current salary cap, we can’t simply outbid teams for max FAs unless they are already ours. Again all things being equal, meaning contracts, the other factors become more important such as likelihood of winning, coach, team chemistry, location, front office stability. The Laker “legacy” is probably a factor, but I’m guessing it’s less important for most FAs than those others. For a rookie, the Laker brand is great, but after they’ve been in the league and if they’ve achieved some success their priorities probably change.
smokedaddy: Also, Dallas signing DJ would be fine, so long as they don’t sign & trade Tyson back to the Clips.
If DJ leaves the Clips they will be in trouble even if they get Chandler back in a S/T. The Clips are a flawed team and while I like the Stephenson move (I start him and have Redick come off the bench) they still need a SF with range. The Bledsoe trade will continue to haunt them as they did not get sufficient return before Paul and Griffin’s extensions took them over the cap.
The bright side is that, like the entire league, they will have cap room next summer.
Adrian Wojnarowski ?@WojYahooNBA 52m52 minutes ago
Lakers didn’t make strong impression in Aldridge meeting, sources say. Spurs can close on him. LMA expected to make decision fairly soon.
Of course they didn’t. The bottom line is Aldridge wants to win now and the Lakers, if they are honest, are at least three years away. It’s just the reality of the situation.
Maybe the Lakers didn’t try all that hard in that meeting?
Todd- My concern isn’t for the Clippers, its the Lakes not getting the chance to sign Chandler.
Teams that are serious contenders never acculturate players to their organizations and then cast them away. #SeetheSpurs
Meanwhile, the Lakers are content starting over year-after-year, and fans wonder why the teams’ record continues to plummet. Discharge a player immediately if they: a) Come to camp out of shape; b) failed to develop their talents in areas as designated in exit interviews. Otherwise retain those players unless superior talent becomes available via the draft or free agent signings. New players joining the team and playing the same position as they do should incentivize them to extend their effort during every second of training camp. Competition on a team creates a chasm between those that want to be on the court and those that are satisfied receiving a paycheck.
If we really did not impress we need to stop going after pie in the sky dreams when we now know that for now we are not a target destination
Tyson is not coming here
Or a bust of a 2nd FA period in a row with us resigning ed “didnt do shit last year” davis at 7mil – where we could sign darrel arthur at like 3mil and be happy since its not gonna matter since we will still be in the lottery
Id rather hoard cap space and force gs to send us looney with david lee or just roll with upshaw at C with sacre and tarik backing them up
This FA period has already gotten to crazy with guys that aberage 10pts getting 10-15mil contracts its crazy
@CHearn Spurs discard a lot of players. You mean their core, which the Lakers didn’t do during their championship years despite Laker fans asking them to. That’s why Metta was on the team until the run ended and why they kept Gasol to the point he left (yes they traded him but that was CP3 and the Spurs were trying to do the exact same thing for Jason Kidd back in the day with Parker). Spurs somehow only get the image of good guys despite doing the same thing everyone else does. And I would argue that they actually treat their players worse. No other organization “convinces” its stars to take less than the Spurs. Any team would be a contender if they trick players into taking 80% of their value. No wonder they have depth. Spurs won’t be able to do that once Duncan and Pop retire. Once they do eventhough RC Buford will still be there, they will no longer be a top level organization. But let’s ignore that and pretend the Spurs do everything right (more like Duncan does).
And this notion that the Lakers should just sign Hill, Young, and Davis to long term contracts so that they aren’t starting over is false. You have a decade of the Kings staying with the same players and building through the lottery. In fact lottery teams stay there year in and year out until they land a special player. If the Lakers did as you want they would have zero chance at getting a top level player and would be bad for a decade. Teams that pay average players end up average. That’s known as the treadmill. Yes it sucks to be on the bottom for so long, but it has only been two years. GS was in the lottery 10 out of 11 years before it started to turn around. In fact you will have a hard time finding a team that went from a championship down to the lottery and back to a contender in less than 5 years. Lakers are trying to be the Lakers and do it less than a decade (which it does for just about any team). Seriously go look up playoff teams than go look up the years before the playoffs, you will see one of two things, teams that stayed in the 7-10 spots or teams that had a decade of losing between contending. Laker fans are just so impatient that they ignore every other teams history. The Lakers are absolutely on the right course. Drafting a player and sticking with them can be fun, but in reality trades and free agency are where you build you champion. In the last two decades only one number one pick won a championship with the team that drafted him (Tim Duncan). And if you think the Lakers aren’t getting LMA, Durant, Westbrook, etc because the Lakers haven’t signed more Nick Youngs long term you are not understanding NBA FA. In fact the Lakers paid Kobe more money to show FA that they care about their players. They are also known for finding their players homes overseas and with other teams when they can’t make the team (few other organizations do this). And when Ronny Turiaf had a heart condition, the Lakers paid for it. They didn’t have to, they wanted to do what was best for him. Lakers have and always will take care of players because that is what Jerry Buss preached.
George Best says
The Lakers are not going to do anything meaningful in free agency(signing Lopez does not count). Aldridge would be a nice add if you can get him as a free agent only(why would he come here) because you have the money to spend. Hes old but will make team competitive next year when Philly gets our first pick. Jordan and Love will stay where they are. Butler isnt leaving Chicago. Anyone elses is just worthless filler.
Russell and Randall should be the only untouchables so it just seems the Lakers are a bit stuck for now and should not do anything to lose these guys. But wasnt that the plan to build with youth and not making any free agent moves that hurts the youth until Kobe retires?
Its a slow rebuild and we just have to be careful trying to do it too fast.
T. Rogers says
“If we really did not impress we need to stop going after pie in the sky dreams when we now know that for now we are not a target destination…”
Agree. I think the Lakers will have to develop their young players fully before becoming the “hot” destination again. Between Randle, Russell, and Clarkson two of the the three really need to take off. That may take another 3 years. But A list free agents are looking for a team on the way up. The Lakers are still on the launching pad.
The Lakers do need a big. I’m fine with Monroe or Lopez. The home run free agency probably won’t happen. But I’ll be happy with a strong double.
Darius, thanks for composing tangible options in a single informative article.
You know what’s alarming about the Lakers is their lack of a long-term strategy. Why would they try to attract veterans to the team with an aging legend and unproven players? Who builds an archetype on lighting striking? Hoping that Kobe remains on the floor and productive for at least 50 games this season. Relying on Randle to dominate and flourish into a Lamar Odom doppelganger. Trusting that Clarkson won’t trip over the sophomore malady of scouting reports. And believing that Russell can dodge the targets aimed at the number 2 player selected in a draft while playing the most dominant position in the league. Does that logic sound enticing enough to entice players to the team when they are at the apex or on the downward slope of their playing careers?
The Lakers rebuild will require patience and cultivating lower tiered talent to the point that they are attractive assets to opposing teams so the Lakers can ply discontented all-stars from other teams when the time is right.
In a side note: What happened to KO?
I want the Lakers to try and make a big splash this year. However, I’m not overly concerned if they fail. A line up of Randle PF, Bryant SF, Upshaw C, Russell PG, Clarkson SG looks pretty good already to me.
If the Lakers cannot land a guy like LA or DJ I would prefer the Lakers trade for an expiring contract center than sign a lesser player to a long term contract essentially buying an insurance policy on Upshaw. I can think of a few guys I would like that other teams are trying to get rid of who would probably offer up a pick or 2 to swallow that contract.
Maybe sign a SF/SG like Gerald Green.
I would rather have a defensive C like Lopez than Monroe,but either one will be hard to sign. Until the Laker younger guys,Randle, Russell, Clarkson prove they can achieve over an entire year,no elite FA will sign. Just like a stock,they want to be on a team with momentum on the way up,where they can see how they will fit in as the the misssing piece. Develop the young core,and next year add the elite FA pieces.
I’m not suggesting that the Lakers should sign mediocre players to long term contracts. What I am proposing is the Lakers cease scrapping 10-11 players each year only to recruit another set of middling players. Everyone assumed the Spurs would discard Danny Green in favor of a player unfamiliar with the Spurs system. The Spurs retain players that adhere to Popovich’s tenets on how to play the game; otherwise they are allowed to depart (see Gary Neal). You’re right once Popovich and Duncan retire the Spurs organization will take ten years to return to the top echelon of the league. Unless, Kawhi Leonard can recruit players to the franchise it’s unlikely the team will get free agents to join the team considering they low-ball players career earnings.