According to a press release, the Lakers have waived three players from their training camp roster. Foward/Center Zach Auguste, Guard Julian Jacobs, and Foward Travis Wear were all released on Wednesday. The Lakers roster now stands at 17.
These three were always long-shots to make the roster, though Auguste had the best chance considering his solid, if unspectacular play, for the team at the Las Vegas Summer League. The emergence of Thomas Robinson, however, has rendered that play moot.
Auguste and Jacobs could become “affiliate” players for the D-Fenders team should they clear waivers and accept designation down to the D-League. Both could get some valuable seasoning in the minor league, playing for Coby Karl, and trying to earn a call-up throughout the season. I would imagine the Lakers would very much like it of both accepted that designation and were able to get more acclimated to the system the team wants to run.
As for the remaining roster spots, the Lakers will need to make two more cuts before the start of the season to get their count down to 15. Reading the tea leaves, the last three players on the roster are Robinson, Metta World Peace, and Yi Jian Lian.
A quick case for each:
- Robinson has shown the most on the court. He has rebounded well, has done enough defensively, and has shown he can score inside.
- Metta is a good locker room presence, is another veteran to for the youngsters to learn from, and can play some SF/PF in an emergency if needed.
- Yi is the only true “floor spacing” big man on the roster and has shown some skill on offense. His contract has unique escalating guarantees which could make him an interesting trade chip.
Honestly, I have little feel for how this will play out. Robinson has shown the most on the court, but both Metta and Yi have additional value which goes beyond what they can contribute between the lines. In the end, it will really come down to what the Lakers value most in this final spot. Do they want more leadership (Metta)? Do they want the unique skill set who might have some trade value (Yi)? Or do they want the player whose skill is already most replicated by similar players, but who has actually looked the best (Robinson)?
I’m not a betting man, but if I was, I would put my money on Yi making this team. I think his skill set and contract are both too unique to keep players who are somewhat redundant in what they provide to the rest of the roster. We’ll see if Mitch Kupchak and Walton feel the same way over the next couple of weeks.
i wonder if they’d be interested in bringing metta on as an assistant coach, assuming he doesn’t land on another team.
Another Option could be that they they trade Nick Young and free up space for Metta and Yi, I find it interesting that Nick and Lou are getting so many minutes, It makes me think that they are building up their stock so they could trade Nick or both in a package deal, They have been playing amazingly, and the Lakers are stacked in that position, this would be a great game plan.
A Horse With No Name says
Wishwash What? Why would they want to trade Young to free up space for Metta and Yi? Young has much more value to this roster than either of those guys. Metta is done and Yi is looking like a end of the bench player. This makes zero sense.
A Horse With No Name says
cjsuh There isn’t another team in the league that will sign Metta. He is in camp strictly to mentor and teach by example. That’s it. He will be cut, and maybe hired on to the coaching staff.
A Horse With No Name Wishwash I agree that Young provides much more value to the team than those other players, however, he has had a history of creating issues in the locker room and not being consistent on the court. Even though he is doing well now in many respects its only a matter of time. Also he takes valuable minutes and shots away from other players in a stacked position. If his value is increasing, and we can pick up a valuable trade piece in return, such as a pick or an oversees player for the future, that to me seems like a better prospect. If he were the type of player that provided leadership to assist in the development of the valuable younger players, or his game facilitated the improvement of other players, i would have a different opinion. However, in no way am I saying he is not entertaining to watch.
A Horse With No Name says
Wishwash A Horse With No Name You are dealing in yesterdays and untruths. He has never created issues in the locker room–fact check. Quite the opposite; he was lauded for keeping things light and he showed pride and played hard when the team was terrible. The issue in question was whether he and Russell could get along following the events of last season. That appears to be a non-issue, according to both players and Walton. I’ll believe them.
Whose minutes is he taking? Anthony Brown’s? Whatever minutes he earns it will strictly be based on productivity. He is a valuable asset to the team because he’s come into camp in shape and is giving them great perimeter shooting and solid defense. The team is far from stacked when it comes to NBA ready wings. Guys like Nick Young will bring little back in trade because he is considered a wild card–rightly so–and is in a contract year. Maybe the Rockets might have interest; can’t think of any other team because of Nick’s history.
In case you haven’t watched the games, Nick is playing exactly how they want him to: shoot when he has the shot, move the ball when he doesn’t, and defend.
Don’t be surprised when Nick is part of the rotation and getting solid minutes–it’s going to happen.
A Horse With No Name Wishwash: He started the other day, and he is playing well and deserves the minutes. If he is not traded, he will get minutes, and the chemistry he has with Lou is special. Yesterday isn’t so long ago, and It is hard to believe that he will keep his defensive intensity, and if the Lakers can capitalize on this recent impressive play and defensive aggressiveness, there is no reason not to capitalize on that rising stock before it falls again. And if he stays It would be awesome to see that he can keep his current play up, because he has been counted out, and it would be great to see him rise from that.
A Horse With No Name says
The rising stock you suggest is a chimera for the reasons cited above. More likely, and the best outcome we can hope for, is the scenario you finish with. That I agree with.
Robinson then Yi. Bye Metta and thank you for everything. Maybe an assistant coach?
Clay Bertrand says
Jian is making this team IMO. For the reasons explained by Darius plus the undeniable marketing upside. I like Robinson and think he has upside and some versatility as well. But our HORN O PLENTY of 4-5s makes his game redundant as has been stated and therefore dilutes his value.
I’m with Horse With No Name (AKA Swaggy P’s New Agent ; ) ) Nick Young deserves to be here and they need to find minutes for him especially if he’s gonna D up and shoot like he has been. I am glad that he has proven to be up to task of rebooting his 2 way game and his defensive effort has been a welcome surprise. I’ll be the first to admit I underestimated his desire to bounce back and be more than just a Chucker. I’m really happy for him and for the Lakers and I hope it all continues.
Looking back, considering all of the accolades Luke gets league wide for his relationship building and ability to relate to players, why would the Lakers NOT allow him the chance to work with Swaggy and see if the new culture can mend the off court fractures from last year with Russell etc???? Granted, they realistically tried to trade him and likely would have in any reasonable deal. As they say, sometimes, the best deals are the ones you DON’T MAKE. Or perhaps in the case of Swaggy P, the ones you simply CAN’T MAKE. Nick deserves some credit. I’m glad he’s back doin what he does AND playing some D ta boot!!!!
I still want to see Anthony Brown with the Starters at some point and if he is hitting his shots, he will also need some minutes.
Hard to find quality minutes for so many guys. Players need time to settle in and produce. The minutes cannot simply be splintered to accommodate every one because then no one will play enough to produce consistently. The same goes for playing guys based on match ups if players end up sitting for multiple games and playing irregular minutes.
Clearly, someone is going to be odd man out and will have to sit—- be it Calderon, Huertas, Brown, Young.
If the line ups we are seeing are any indication, the rotation at the 3 will be Deng, Ingram, and Young with Deng able to swing to the 4 and Ingram/Young able to play either 2 or 3 wing positions.
There is a lot more quality shooting on the roster this year IMO than in recent past seasons. You can’t have too much of a good thing!!!!!!!
Yi will be our new Robert Sacre.
_ Robert _ says
I like what I am seeing in terms of the new spirit that Luke
has brought to the team.However with
regard to the roster:
Many times last year I stated that Lou and Nick should both be
jettisoned.They are isolation players
who are not good at defense (even with the projected improvement some are
seeing).Towards the end of last year,
many started saying the same (especially after the video incident).Many said there was no way we would keep
two ball stoppers on the team when we were trying to develop our youth.Yet here we are.Yes – Luke might be able to use them
effectively to win 5 more games than if they were both gone, but is that in the
team’s best long term interests?
Also – I think others have covered the Mosgov situation and
my views are known there.
Nick has surprised me as a decent fit to the new team direction. If he can stay committed to playing two-way team ball like he has so far, he’ll be a solid rotation player. To me, the lesser fit is Lou. Sure he can score, but he stalls the O and is poor on D. He’s also the more movable piece on the roster. I’ve been impressed with Robinson, more so than AB, Yi, or Mozgov (ouch), so I hope he makes it. MWP will be a development coach soon.
Those are some pretty good points. I thought Young was a goner but, he has really played well for Walton. I think it is unlikely Yi will be cut if for no other reason because of his creative contract. Lou is a good player but as you say doesn’t fit in well with the system. I also really like Brown’s game but, I think he is on the bubble of making the roster if he doesn’t produce and the resurgence of Young continues.
_Craig W says
I really don’t understand the ‘dislike’ of Mozgov. We can argue about whether or not he is over-paid, but his production and what he brings to the team so far are really positive. He moves better than many other big men, he shuffles his feet – instead of crossing over – and is able to recover to protect the rim. He doesn’t try to jump out of the gym and is able to recover from fakes. We need different kinds of players on this team to be successful and he is one of the types.
We measure people too much based on their draft position or salary – both a function of what others require.Once someone is drafted/paid we should just be asking what they can contribute to the club and not arguing over whether or not a mistake was made.
What with the gust of freshness Luke´s hiring has given us, & the players´ seeming approval of said hiring; D´Angelo´s flashes of future greatness on the court; Jordan, Julius and the new look Purple and Gold looking like they´ll be notching Ws sooner than later, Ingram being drafted, and now, Bob Dylan receiving the Nobel Prize, why, we´re headed in the right direction folks!!! 😉
_ Robert _ says
dog town: Thanks for the reply. With regard to Lou+Nick: I do think they could play better under the new coach and environment. That said – I am concerned that they will occupy too many shots and ball control, and I would not want that to create a dearth of ball control/shots for others. DAR needs his, JC needs his, and Ingram should get some looks. Throw in the others inclusive of Randal and somebody is going to finish some games where they get 2 or 3 shots and they could get frustrated. And again – for what? – a few more wins in a season where everyone is saying that wins are not the measure of success — they will be if we get a lot of them of course : ) We will see what happens.
With regard to games, I will probably go to a couple. I miss Kobe, but more importantly for myself as a fan, I need to get a new player or two that I can really relate to. I was a Magic guy during the 80’s, and then Kobe starting in the late 90’s. Much of the 90’s – I did not have a guy like that in that I did not like NVE (though I of course rooted for him). I am in the same place with DAR so far. Ingram could be that guy for me in time, but most likely that guy is not on the roster yet. I will root for the team hard without that guy, but I will just not have the personal attachment to the individual player like I did with Magic + Kobe. However – we will get another guy like that at some point. We are the Lakers after all : )
_ Robert _ ; that guy could have been Karl Anthony Towns.
_ Robert _ dog town Yes i agree. I don’t feel that personal attachment yet with the young guys. I hope I can get that feeling again.
I do feel more attached to the young guys more than Lou, Young, and Mozgov, that’s for sure.
new rr says
_ Robert _
Young: I said in the off-season that it ultimately probably
doesn’t matter all that much. If Young is willing to play like he is playing
now, then keeping him really doesn’t hurt. Even so, I would rather that Walton
give those minutes to Anthony Brown. I think it is pretty clear that Walton,
like Kerr, is a gifted communicator, and I suspect that he simply communicated
with Young in a clear but respectful way about what Young needed to do for the
team, and so far, it is working.
Williams: Nothing has changed. He has a very specific
skillset, does what he does, and is good at it. But he doesn’t fit with the
Lakers’ situation now, and he didn’t fit when the FO signed him. Maybe the FO
can get something for him.
Mozgov: The problems with the Mozgov deal have nothing to do
with the granular on-floor skills—setting hard screens, taking up space around the
rim—that he brings to the table. He is a better player than Hibbert or Sacre,
and the Lakers had to have somebody reasonably competent to put at the 5 in
order to stabilize the roster/rotation and to start stabilizing the team
defense. The problems are that he is 30 years old, that the deal is four years,
fully guaranteed, that there were other options, and that the money that they
will be paying him in 2017, 2018 and 2019 may be money that they could use to
try to get an actual All-Star caliber player.
Instead of “falling” for the recent performances of Nick Young and Lou Williams, we should consider moving them elsewhere now that they have recuperated little value in the pre-season. Pretty sure Milwaukee needs a gunner now that Middleton is out for a considerable amount of time and getting 1 or both of Nick and Lou makes for a low-cost replacement on their part.