This does not mean the Lakers have no chance. And, at some point, the team is very likely to have a game where they break through, shoot well, get a few timely defensive stops, and pull out a win. Tonight would be as good a night as any to make this happen. After all, the Wizards did travel from Cleveland last night while the Lakers only came from Philly. There is a chance they will be as tired or more than the visiting team. Or maybe I’m reaching. We shall see.
The above paragraph was from Wednesday’s game preview against the Wizards. I’m not saying I can tell the future, but if you’re interested in tonight’s lottery numbers, hit me up in the comments and I might share them with you.
No, but seriously, the Lakers were due for a win. They have been a bad team this year, but coming into the game against the Wizards they were on pace for about an 11 win season. That win total would be the worst by any NBA team ever. The Lakers may be bad, but they’re not that bad.
After the win, I summed up the game pretty simply on twitter:
Classic Kobe to close out. Strong games from Randle & Clarkson. Russell did some really good work too, just didn't close. Can't have it all.
— Darius Soriano (@forumbluegold) December 3, 2015
For one night, the Lakers put it (mostly) all together. Their young players all put in good efforts that showed up in the boxscore and Kobe was able to turn back the clock and give fans another classic moment to file away in their catalogue as evidence of how great a player he’s been.
These nights really should be appreciated. We do not know how many of these types of games Kobe has left, but one can only assume it’s not many considering how he’s played to this point in the year. There will be nights where his legs feel good, where the lift on his jumper is there, and where he decides to mix in some drives and nifty passes to his arsenal to keep the defense off balance. In D.C., on Wednesday, all that was there and it was a pleasure to watch.
It wasn’t the only thing, though. Julius Randle may have had his best game of the season. Supremely active, typically assertive, and (mostly) quick with his decision making, he racked up a career high 19 rebounds (7 offensive) while scoring 15 points.
Fun Fact: Last night, @J30_RANDLE became the youngest Lakers player ever (21 yrs old & 3 days) to record at least 19 rebounds in a game.
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) December 3, 2015
Jordan Clarkson was also very good, scoring 18 points to go with 4 rebounds and 3 steals. He was also very steady down the stretch, hitting 4 clutch free throws in the closing minutes, including the two which gave the Lakers their final 4 point cushion.
Lastly, D’Angelo Russell didn’t close the game (can’t have everything we want, right?), but he was also a two way contributor. His 13 points and 3 assists were nice, but his 4 rebounds and 4 steals were more indicative of his activity and smarts on the defensive end. His weak side rotations and reads for where the ball was going led to more than one of his steals and it was his overall play, with purpose, on that end which was nice to see.
All in all, it was a good night. The Lakers will be back at it on Friday, so they can savor this one for a little while longer. It wasn’t a perfect night, but they never really are, and this game gave us some moments we have not seen a lot of this season.
Thank you Lakers!! I´m walking on air today…
That was Kobe channeling himself from the past. The good and bad going forward:
1) Fact: Kobe is going to shoot a lot. It’ll be game by game whether we get ‘Philly Kobe’ or ‘Washington Kobe’. Its good in the sense that we’ll see some nice performances every now and then. It’s bad in that this MO has produced a 3-14 record.
2) Kobe is playing every game and playing a lot of minutes. Good in the sense that fans see him on the floor. Bad in the sense that he’s going to burn out or get injured — likely before the All-Star break.
Side note: The kids will be fine. But they’re kids and we’ll have to live with the ups and downs. Last night was definitely an up.
Darius: “Tonight would be as good a night as any to make this happen.” Yessir!
Bummed I missed this game; stoked over the outcome. Young’uns ballin’, Kobe shooting well + a classic closeout. And when the Wiz crept close late, the Lakers kept it together to pocket the W.
This is good stuff, and given the scarcity of these precious victorious moments, I for one am gonna revel in it; at least until the next tilt.
If I was to go all giddy up in here, I might even start musing that maybe, just maybe, the Lakers’ playing level last night is reflective of the new mean this team is capable of maintaining…as opposed to a mere aberrant blip on the map, with regression imminent.
Wouldn’t it be cool if we could beat every team in the West at least once? Is Steph Curry’s wife expecting a child sometime this season?
Back to the Future:
Has Kobe has chipped away his rust, to finally become the gracefully aged momba we all hoped for?
Or: Has he simply stuffed enough coins into the slot machine to get his payout, and now we go another 10 games of those coins being stuffed back into the slot?
Or: Will we see this vintage Kobe, just enough to lose our top 3 pick?
Yes, it’s good to bask in the glow of a win, but behind that puffy white cloud, the big picture looms large.
What say You ?
Or: Will we see this vintage Kobe, just enough to lose our top 3 pick?
My gut says no. As I wrote above, Kobe’s ‘shoot at all cost’ approach has produced a 3-14 record to date. No reason to think he has found his ‘seas legs’ and can channel this longer. Plus, if Byron let’s him play every game for this many minutes he’ll break down at some point. Note: He played 36 minutes last night.
Without Kobe the kids will have more bad games than good ones (the reality of being 1st and 2nd year players). Plus, I think Mitch will understand that this may be the last time the team can truly be this bad so he’ll trade vets in an effort to ensure a bottom two/three finish.
Think about it Ben Simmons may be a player that the Lakers can build around for the next 20 years, ala Kobe. If Byron went all out to win, what number would the Lakers win, with this roster? 20? My gut says this year, the FO would be fine with winning less, much less if necessary.
Although the bar has been set unbearably low this year, last night’s win was the best showing of the season. Randle played impressively well on both sides of the ball. And JC & DR both looked good. Seeing Russell start taking the ball to the hole is also a welcome sight. Hopefully his confidence continues to grow.
And Kobe was in mamba mode! My guess is that night’s like this will be rare this season but perhaps Kobe will focus more on making his presence felt more with the right pass and facilitating than over reliance on hoisting a bunch of shots. Not likely but it would be nice nonetheless.
Although many many things have to fall our way…Marc Spear’s piece today (with the obligatory Le Bron comparison) on Ben Simmons only underscores what a transformational talent he is:
Great game last night. It was nice to see the rooks string together 4 complete quarters of effective play for a win. Kobe’s last stand will be chalked full of on and off nights.
If the Lakers keep their pick these players are intriguing:
1) Ben Simmons, forward (LSU)– The Lakers should lose every game this season to get this player. He’s competitive, has an unbelievable motor (near Lebron’s and a young Kobe), high basketball IQ, great character, but he needs work developing defense for the NBA.
2) Kris Dunn, pg (Providence)—This guy has a motor, change of pace on the dribble, can get to the rim with his athletic 6-4” frame and finish with a 6’9” wingspan, decent shooter out to the three, plays hard-nosed defense, and is a leader.
Sal: For the record, I’m all for tanking, and simply enjoying the kids development.
However the presence of Kobe complicates the situation greatly in all aspects of both plans.
I sincerely hope I’m wrong and Kupchak will do something, however it looks to me, like this season will be Kobe’s to do with what he likes, or to be more accurate, what he can, and as you say, he probably won’t become that mature player we have seen in a Kevin G. or Tim D. but will continue to chase his glory, even if that means 1 out of 10 games of vintage, and 9 out of 10, the brick mason.
If this turns out to be true, then our youth core will lose a good percentage of their development, plus we will lose out on our Simmons lottery chance.
Yes, I believe in our kids and hope they will still shine, no matter the outcome, but it’s natural to wish for the best outcome for our team.
Jim C. says
A truly enjoyable performance to watch from start to finish. I sure would have liked to see Russell on the court down the stretch, but at least this time Lou was playing well enough to justify Scott keeping him out there over the rookie.
Julius Randle continues to look like a beast in the making. A functioning right hand and mid-range jumper are all that are going to hold him back from potentially putting up monster numbers offensively. If he can get those two things, we really have something here.
Jordan Clarkson continues to be smooth, efficient, and effortless looking out on the court. I love watching him play and am salivating at the thought of what he’s going to be like as his usage goes up next year. He seems able to get good shots whenever he wants to and his improvement on the longball is a joy to observe. Missed his only two attempts from range last night, but the form is very nice looking.
Kobe did vintage Kobe closer things for the first time this season, and the flashback performance was truly nice to watch and be a part of after so many teeth grinding, frustrating ones this season where he tried to be that guy and wasn’t.
But worth monitoring is that Kobe’s minute totals are rising pretty steadily. Whereas before the season, Scott talked about a hard minutes cap and more recently he softened that stance and said it wouldn’t matter if the “average” amount of minutes was “about 30” and later softened that to “about 31”, Kobe’s pretty routinely starting to exceed even that.
GS: 25 (Nice)
His average minutes per game has been rising steadily every month so far this season. Something to keep an eye on.
D’Angelo did not play in the 4th, and I believe that HE is our pg of the future.
He has grand skills, if you can catch his flashes.
So if we can’t land Simmons, I would much prefer a center.
Ben Simmons is Lebron light — a smooth small forward who can handle the ball and pass. He would still need a PG. I agree that Russell is the PG of the future.
The FO can trade recently signed free agents starting 12/15. I would hope that Williams is shopped hard as Bass should be. We’re 3-14 with these guys — we’d likely have the same record with out them.
In my mind it would be negligence on the part of the FO to play the ‘Lakers Exceptionalism’ card as an excuse for chasing meaningless wins. We did that the last two years. While our future looks bright — imagine how much brighter it would be if we had Wiggins/KAT on the roster. Draft position matters!
I think Philly went 9-73 in 1973. That’s the record for futility in a full regular season. The Bobcats, who won only 7 in a strike shortened season, have the lowest winning percentage of all time at .106. Hope our team can stay away from that territory.
Sal: Agree 100% !
Let’s hope you’re right !
By the way, speaking of centers, it’s all quiet on the Upshaw front.
Was the FO right about him, or will he make the hope for Whiteside unnecessary?
Jim C. says
I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing some Upshaw at Center over Brandon Bass minutes.
A guy can dream.
I saw upshaw play d league on twcable he was not dominant actually looked adverage, then again whiteside is i think 26 years old
Clarkson and Randle are Good with a great future… Russell just need to be a steady player…hit the open jumper and run the offense. Russell doesn’t need to be a star…just a good player…The future looks good…Williams.KB and Hibbert have been the disappointments so far…
Kareem has penned a poem entitled “Dear Retirement” in which he asked retirement to embrace Kobe….
“Retirement, embrace him like you did me. Teach him
all that you taught me about finding who I was off the court.
My place in the community.
Most of all, help him realize that there is no such thing as retirement,
merely passing from one room into another.
A bold adventure in self-discovery
where he may find a new Kobe
who may surprise and delight him all over again.”
Thanks Matt, I guess we will need to wait and see. I just hope he realizes that his chance is slipping away.
I agree Gene, yet I believe Russell’s got star potential, it’s just not being showcased under the Scott regime.
Lol, agree Jim, and his shot blocking would be a godsend.
Thanks LKK, cool poem !
nice piece thx for sharing….as far as KBs plans, he gave a glimpse of that during an interview i saw, where he mentioned he has some ambitions in the film making industry…i could envision that
Upshaw is averaging 1.9 Blocks per 16 min which is impressive. But otherwise he looks like a work in progress. I think I would still like to see him backing up Hibbert. The Lakers have lost enough games they should be looking more through the lens of player development than squeezing out another 3 or 5 wins over the season. I also think Hibbert would be an excellent mentor for Upshaw to work on cutting down his fouls.
My frustration this season is that the team is not as bad as the record, there are other factors we all know, thats why the Philly loss pissed me off so much, last night was like a perfect storm of what i expected the team to be, i didn’t expect win 50 games not even 40 but the team should be doing better than this. This team should have 7 or 8 wins by now easily,not good but not horrible, last night vintage Kobe gave us what we been lacking, a closer, thats why we have blown 5 games this season, I don’t know, Kobe claims that he is getting his legs under him and he looked fresh after the game, but he played within the offense most of the time and delivered down the stretch, Randle? What can i say he is a beast and once he develop a reliable jumper and that right hand were talking about perennial All Star, Clarkson and Russell can he one of the best backcourts in the NBA in a couple of years, more than anything im happy for our young players got to witness Black Mamba, Next game we see if we revert to same ol’ same ol’, but this team isn’t as bad as people say, i wish this is that famous corner that Jimbo talked about we will see. GO LAKERS
Vasheed, appreciate the stat !
If Scott leaves, maybe the interim coach won’t share his bias, and will pull Upshaw back to grow with his peers.
For those of you interested in the goings-on in the D League, below are the stats for the Lakers’ Anthony Brown (the Lakers’ 2nd-round draft pick who is on the Lakers squad) and Robert Upshaw who is, in effect, a free agent playing for the LA Defenders:
Age: 23; Games Played: 5
Minutes: 31.6; points: 16.6 per game; FG%: 44.9%; 3P%: 38.2%; rebs: 3.6; assists: 1.6; steals: .6
Age: 21 (turns 22 on January 5th); Games Played: 8
Minutes: 16.1; points: 4.5 per game; FG%: 35.9%; FT%: 77.8%; rebs: 3.6; Blocks: 1.9; PF: 3.4
These stats can be found at the following web site: http://www.dleague.nba.com
Brother optimist Fern ! I agree but what about trying for Simmons?
@ Mid-Wilshire, Thank You !
IG: jwoodz313 says
I definitely enjoyed seeing some vintage Kobe action last night. Same ol Kobe shot selections as usual which to me, I don’t see why anyone is stressing about that. He is known as the best difficult shot maker in history and has been doing it his whole career. He is aware of his deficiencies but he still has that killer instinct. It’s tough to watch but that’s what makes him who he is. As a Laker fan and as a Kobe fan, I’m accepting of it. But of course I understand the hoopla about it. He is not Duncan, Pierce or KG. Doesn’t make him a bad guy
The youngins BALLED out! I agree with you Darius about how it sucked that DLo Russell didn’t play more minutes. But Lou Will did produce as well. I love Clarkson and Randle. They’ll keep getting better and better.
As far as the future is concerned, yes, Ben Simmons or Chris Dunn would be a GREAT look for the team. But why isn’t the talk about finding a 3 and D wing or Center to play alongside the trio of Russell/Clarkson/Randle?? Unless the Lakers plan on shopping Russell or Clarkson, why get another player reliant on the ball being in his hands to fully impact games?? Any thoughts on that fellow readers and Darius, if you’re listening
IG: jwoodz313 says
*Kris Dunn.. My bad
IF Ben Simmons is as good as folks are saying and IF the Lakers are in position to acquire him then they should, regardless of who’s currently on the team, IMO. True franchise players don’t come around very often. While I’m hopeful that the Lakers’ young trio can blossom, none of them shapes up to be “untradeable” at present. I say, get the talent and let it sort itself out.
@Kev the Bold, i don’t like the concept of tanking, it’s a disgrace, if we get a top 3 pick somehow it better be because we stink that bad for real, not because we lost games on purpose, as of right now in December i could care less about that pick, i care if it comes to that, as far as im concerned i would rather see some real improvement than stinking up the joint every night and them getting the 4th pick and having to give it away, i would feel stupid if that happens. So i dont care about that right now, im still hoping we win more games than last year. Next year is the beggining of a new era and even if we lose that pick i feel optimistic, like i said before with a young core in place finally, we have something to offer and with up to 67 mill in capspace and more importantly a clean slate i feel confident, btw, the highest salary we will have in the books next summer is Lou making 7 million think about that, the team is going to be wide open. I have reason to be optimistic…
IG and LKK,
The conventional wisdom when you’re drafting high (i.e., in the lottery or really anywhere in the 1st round) is to draft the best player regardless of position.
For example, at one time the Lakers had a very fine PG named Norm Nixon. However, they had an opportunity to draft a young PG out of Michigan State named Magic Johnson even though that position was already filled. So they drafted Magic.
Eventually, they traded Nixon to San Diego (now the LA Clippers) and received Byron Scott, a rookie shooting guard from AZ State, in return. The rest — as they say — is history.
The lesson: you always draft for talent when drafting high, not for position. Eventually, somehow, it pays off.
In the 2nd round you can focus on positional needs. But in the first round, you take the best player available.
Below is a sample mock draft for the upcoming 2016 draft (very much subject to change):
I see the topic of backup center position, i think management thought tarik black would make a good backup for hibbert, he looked ok for a rookie last year and during preseason good rebounder but i guess coach doesn’t see him as a good backup center, this shows how important it is to have a backup center, Jordan hill didn’t live up to his 9 mil deal so they let him go, i saw him as a backup for the pacers very valuable fo them, they got him at 4 mil seems to be a steal, with hibbert and most starting big men only able to play about 25 minutes a game a better backup would also prove very valuable for our team, hopefully this problem is addressed through trade or next free agents, bass is a good player, but not at center.
This is a cool story.
KevtheBold- D’Angelo is a nice player, that may turn into an all-star, however, on that point I am not convinced. He certainly has the requisite abilities to be so; he just needs to release a few his competitive juices. Competitiveness and the will to win are intangibles that few players possess, and during a long grinding NBA season sometimes that’s the only thing that propels a team to win games they’re technically not supposed to. I like him; he’s smooth, not Jamal Wilkes smooth but close.
Why choose another pg in Kris Dunn? Because one always selects the best talent available regardless the position and figure the positional logistics out later. What if Clarkson decides his future is in Cleveland alongside James and Irving? I’ll tell you what, Dunn and Russell together in the backcourt are a tantalizing thought. I’m just saying. Now don’t get me wrong, I love baby-faced Clarkson he has a fire deep inside him to compete and improve every season he’s in the league.
If the Lakers miss out on the opportunity to get Ben Simmons, and he winds up in Philadelphia, New York, or some other team like the Pelicans, well. Sure won’t acquire him in free agency, or at least not until his spectacular years are over. Forget about his college statistics, can you imagine how much of a stud he’ll be when he develops the body of a man in the NBA? Mitch and Buss family, for the love of ticket sales the Lakers, NEED him going forward.
Here’s the thing with centers, they take longer to develop skills and coordination even more so in today’s NBA when wings are 6’9-6’11 with handles, they can’t compete. I remember players like Robert Parish that went from team to team until he landed in Boston and they embraced his talent, it can happen.
Other players that will impact the NBA game are:
Denzel Valentine-g, Michigan State. He’s a 6’5” Green, patterned his game after Draymond. Can do a little of everything, just a winner.
Domantas Sabonis-f, Gonzaga. He’s a 6’10” tough rebounder with the soft touch around the rim, and, of course, he’s the son of Arvydas Sabonis.
I think it’s way too early and there’s a lot of basketball left to play to be worrying about the next Draft and is a big IF that we keep that pick, people are getting wayy ahead of themselves and i don’t see the Lakers letting Clarkson go under any circumstances, DAR is improving and btw he was considered for the rookie of the month award, so there is improvement…
Although I have posted about Simmons I have made it clear that we are a LONG way from this being in our sights. Not least of which is the small matter of ping pong balls going our way. More than anything it is a distraction from the intense frustration this season thus far has engendered. But IF it happened…well that would be sweet.
Yes, nice to see Kobe shoot decent finally. Hopefully he can have a few more of these before he retires for the rabid Kobe fans and to help get rid of the bitter taste for him and many of us that are sick of seeing him go 1-11 from 3 point range.
The young guys hopefully will improve for years to come. Once we become a decent team again then we will see how good they are. Unfortunately we are probably considered an automatic win by most teams, so we won’t be getting the best effort from our opponents a lot this season.
I just want to see what the FO does to actually create a defense for next year and beyond. We have offensive talent, but almost no defense to speak of. IF DAR/Clarkson end up being below average defenders then we are going to need some serious support from the SF/Center positions. I want to see Randle get more touches, I really hope he becomes our Alpha dog–b/c I think he has the best chance of becoming a great player out of the 3 young guys. Randle has a long way to go, but I think he has the highest talent level of the 3 guys and he has some ability to defend already.
The Western conference is just a rough place right now, we can’t just become a winning team again based on offensive talent alone b/c a handful of teams in the west have even more offensive talent and guys that aren’t very old like the Harden’s/Curry’s’Westbrooks etc. I hope that when they get a new coach they put in a real defensive system, get defense first players rather than more gunners like Swaggy/Lou Williams and of course they put in a better offensive system as well. I’ve watched the Wizards play before tonight, and honestly I’m surprised with their play this year they look like they have gotten worse.
Keeping An Eye On The Bottom Line:
– Two records the Lakers are in danger of breaking this year:
– “Lakers all time worst start” and “Lakers all time worst record”.
– This franchise has only won less than 30 games in a season FOUR times in their 68 year history…so far. Unfortunately it’s happened TWICE in the last two years…with a real possibility of three years straight. Some find ways to rationalize and accept this…I’m not one of them.
This is the bottom line thru 18 games of this season and their four worst previous seasons:
2015-2016 thru 18 games: 3-15 (?? win season/ 82 game season, ???)
2014-2015 thru 18 games: 5-13 (21 win/ 82 game season, .256)
2013-2014 thru 18 games: 9-9 (27 win/ 82 game season, .329)
1959-1960 thru 18 games: 6-12 (25 wins/ 75 game season, .333)
1957-1958 thru 18 games: 3-15 (19 wins/ 73 game season, .264)
– Currently they are tied for the WORST record thru 18 games in Laker history.
– The Buss Kids: worst ownership in Laker history.
– For those loving Upshaw’s D-League stat’s, please note: Jimmer Fredette, who can’t hang on to a job in the NBA scored 37 points in his 1st game for the Westchester Knicks after 2 weeks of non activity following his cut from the injury plagued Pelicans. With them he was averaging around 2 ppg.
The only stat for Upshaw that really pops out are the blocks. This is kinda expected though. He is just built to block shots. I also watched him play in Summer league and one of the things I like was how well he played in PNR with Russell. He set great screens and made the right moves after the screen often diving to the basket as soon as his man left him. He also has a nicer shooting stroke then I expected. I think his worst flaw is his tendency to foul. However, the Lakers have probably the best guy to fix that issue with him in Hibbert. Without assuming Hibbert will be back next year or they won’t trade him this year, this is an opportune time to bring up Upshaw.
Lastly, the Lakers are not playing Black or Sacre at center. Instead they are playing Bass at center and the team’s defense goes into the toilet while he is on the floor. At this point most of the arguments I’ve seen as to why not to have Upshaw on the roster are moot.
Upshaw does not fight for position down low, does not box out for rebounds, simply doesn’t muscle people, if he was more agile it would make up for that but he’s not, he might be ready later on, and they are not playing sacre, but upshaw is not even that good in d league, sacre is there for injury precautions
Focus on the goal: Ben Simmons. Here’s the stat line from his last game: Simmons finished the night with 43 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists, five steals and three blocks on 15-of-20 shooting from the field (and 13-of-15 from the line).
He is the next Lebron and he’s within our grasp.
– The Buss Kids: worst ownership in Laker history.
I agree. Jim has been a total fail and after his ‘turning the corner statement’ this year’s fail will be monumental. Funny though, if we can draft Simmons Jim will go from goat to hero. Someone said that he’d be the most undeserving luckiest man alive.
I think the Lakers are going to want to see more from Upshaw before they bring him up, if they do that at all. Right now, he just doesn’t look ready to me.
Anthony Brown, on the other hand, looks like he might possibly have a future. He can hit the 3-ball very nicely and defends ferociously on the wing — both assets that the Lakers, and in fact most teams, can use.
If fact, I’d like to see the Lakers begin to use him later on this year on a more regular basis (which would mean taking minutes away from MWP). I’d also like to see Larry Nance, Jr. get more burn. Above all, I’d like to see Tarik Black get off the pine. I firmly believe that Tarik could be a solid contributor (a 7 & 7 guy over 18-20 minutes) for the team. But under Byron, I don’t think that’s going to happen. Byron’s man-crush for Bass is one of his real blind spots. It’s hurting Bass (who’s playing out-of-position), Black, and the team as a whole, especially on defense.
As long as Byron remains in charge, that’s probably not going to change. Meanwhile, Black could be developing his game in a big way.
How come no ones mentioned the fact that D’Angelo Russell and Ben Simmons played together in high school?
I’d love to see the Lakers win, but at this point we’ve dug ourselves in a big hole. So I’m with everyone on lose for Ben Simmons.
I also have a question for everyone. If our kids/youngsters, DAR, JC, Randle, Nance, Black and Brown, develop into very good players (maybe all stars). Let’s include the hopes of drafting Ben Simmons. Do the Lakers still have to go after a big free agent like KD? Or can we just stick with our team and invest our time and money in them.
As I typed that I realized how ridiculous it sounds, but still want to hear some opinions on it.
I had no idea Simmons and Russell played together. I would love to get Simmons but, frankly the odds are low. Secondly Simmons plays like a point forward with a radically designed offense built around him at LSU. I would shudder to think what would happen if BS were still in charge stubbornly not changing his offense.
With Kobe’s salary coming off and the cap rising I cannot see how the Lakers are not going to try and sign a big name player. It would not even be like their hands are tied to go pursue other players while they plunk down an offer to a big name agent. Also the Lakers are about stars watching stars. The Lakers have been trying to land the next face of the franchise for years now with no success. Assuming none of our rookies emerge as that by the end of the season the F.O. will try harder than ever this off season with Kobe’s retirement.
Upshaw is a scrub, he can block shots at college and D-League level thats it, shooting less than 40% when his offense is 2 feet from the basket, if you come off the bench for 15 minutes on the D-League, i don’t think you are an NBA bench material, his numbers are pitifully bad, plus there is the matter of being a notorious knuclehead, i dont see any reason why the Lakers waste a roster spot on this guy…