The Lakers are the proverbial walking wounded right now. Nick Young is out with a strained calf. Jose Calderon is out with a strained hamstring. In Monday’s loss to the Jazz, Tarik Black sprained his ankle and did not return to the game. Larry Nance, Jr. sat out the game vs. the Jazz with a knee contusion. And, of course, D’Angelo Russell has been out with knee soreness and the resulting PRP injection he took to stimulate healing. That’s four key rotation players and the point guard who has replaced Russell while he’s been out.
There may be some good news on the horizon, though. At least in terms of Russell.
D'Angelo Russell will begin on-court work again, but won't travel with the team to Houston.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 6, 2016
Russell’s initial diagnosis was that he’d be out at least two weeks. We are approaching that mark now, so it’s good to hear that he is (essentially) on schedule. Though he will not travel on Wednesday (which would be 14 days since the injection), the fact that he is progressing enough to get back on the court is promising. This doesn’t mean he will be ready to play by weeks end, though.
Will D'Angelo Russell play on Friday or Sunday? Luke Walton said it's a possibility, but did not make it sound likely…
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) December 6, 2016
Now, maybe that is bad news. Okay, there’s no “maybe” about it. The Lakers could really use Russell back for reasons which go beyond their back court depth being decimated. Russell is one of the team’s best players, the starting point guard, and the 1st unit’s best passer. The team’s offense has suffered a great deal with him out and Luke Walton’s desire to keep the bench unit intact has meant starting groups which often get out to poor starts, digging a hole the team’s reserves have to try and dig themselves out of.
More often than not, the bench has not been able to turn those deficits into maintainable leads even if they’re battled admirably and clearly been able to make a difference. The bench can only do so much, they need the starters to do more. Russell helps in that regard a great deal.
If Russell is back and ready to play by the start of next week, that would be great. Yes, he’ll miss another 3 games and that’s not ideal for a team which has been skidding downhill while trying to heal up. But, still, if he’s able to get back into the lineup, play to the level he was before injury, and stay healthy the team can start to regain some of what made them a surprise team to start the year.
Mostly, though, I just miss watching Russell play. Him being out for an extended period has only upped my appreciation for how he runs the offense, how much the attention the defense pays him matters, and how much his passing acumen helps everyone else on the roster. It’s not a coincidence that several key players’ shooting efficiency numbers have tumbled with Russell out — he’s a player who delivers them the ball on time and on target in positions where they can score. Pocket passes into the short roll, slings to the corner where wings are moving off picks, open court dimes to big man running hard. Russell does all these things nightly and they’ve been missing with him out.
So, yeah, I’m happy to hear Russell is getting back to doing on court work. Here’s hoping there are no setbacks and he’s back playing actual games soon.
These are great observations about Russell and why I am glad the Lakers have had the patience to let him rehab. The schedule is going to lighten up a bit and even a slightly depleted Lakers team will have opportunities to put a few wins together. Thanks for pointing out all of the positives. I would add that his shooting range is amazing and I expect great things from him.
_ Robert _ says
The Lakers have had their share of injuries the past few years and this year’s club is starting to rack up games missed. When the wins and losses are tallied, they will get about as much sympathy as the Byron and MDA clubs received – which is zero from anyone other than the core of us Laker fans.
Any good news for Russell would be welcome. We should be cautious with this and he never should have played against Chicago in his last game.
All of that said – in spite of the injuries- we all want to be positive, and I have been calling all year for Luke to be COTY (and I still think he will be). However LordMo’s point #5 from the previous thread is the important one. What exactly are we doing?
We are better, and yes you can say we need to make incremental progress. And you can pepper in comments about how much fun this is – etc, but what doe that mean for the long term. Are we working towards something bigger?
We have some decent young talent which could be part of a future contender, but we also have some vets who clearly will not be.
Deng is a 4 year liability and some of us said so – the day he signed. Mosgov has surprised me, but again – not 4 years worth of surprise and I sure do not want both of them for that long. Swaggy and Lou have played great – but the chances of them being on the roster when we contend are small so they are nothing more than vagabonds (had not used that 1 in a while) taking time and attempts away from our younger players.
I realize we have a make shift line up, and someone has to take shots, but these box scores are beginning to remind me of last year. Many posters complained of how KB was stunting the growth of our youngsters. Is having them watch Lou score more developmental than having them watch Kobe score? What’s up with this?
We are 26th in the league in terms of how often our field goals are assisted. This is not Golden State to say the least but we could move the ball a little more to get people shots.
So yes I get it “This is Fun” and I get it “Enjoy the Ride” and “Patience”
Just pretend some of us are kids in the back seat saying. “Where are we going” and after a year or two we will be saying “Are we there yet” : ) Hopefully the people driving the car will have answers.
_ Robert _ There is a difference this year. Yes, Swaggy and Lou are taking shots. But they aren’t taking shots away from the youngsters. They are playing within a system with offensive principles. Whereas last year, players ran primarily iso ball, this year is a team-oriented offense. Players are making plays/passes so that the best team shot is produced. Obviously, this has not been the case over the last two weeks, since Russell went down, but this has been the general approach by coach Walton.
I find it interesting that the only form of player development that some folks are willing to acknowledge is the “trial by fire” of heavy minutes and total responsibility for team success. That is the approach in Philadelphia which has not met much success. There has been better results with the Timberwolves, but they also have more NBA ready young talent than we do in Wiggins and Townes (both top picks).
Comparing Walton’s offense to Scott’s I hope is hyperbole. Whereas the Lakers young players were kept on a short leash and constantly attached by Scott, Young has allowed them to play through mistakes, encouraged their learning process, and insisted on their fit within a team mode. Essentially, the main difference this year is that players are learning the right way to play team ball. Instead of comparing the Lakers to Golden State, a team with multiple prolific scorers, I think we ought to compare Walton’s approach to that of Popovich with the Spurs. I know that must hurt, but we will both gladly take positive results.
Where are we going? The Lakers are one all-star wing player (think Rudy Gay) away from being a playoff team. Add in moderate improvement across their young talent, and they would likely be a top four team in the west. That’s where we’re going in the next two-three. Tanking another year was not going to get us there.
I wanted to wait until the Lakers played at least 20 games before commenting. Overall I think everyone can honestly say that
Luke and kids (Randle, Clarkson, Russell, Nance and Ingram) have re-energized
the franchise and given us all hope for the future.
However, I think Mitch and Jim
went big into free agency a year too soon. I think Jim’s promise played a
big part in that decision. Absent the
need to make significant progress on the floor I think the FO would have been
fine to stay the course and allow the kids to push this forward. I
think most fans would have been fine with organic growth.
I am of
the camp that says you don’t sign any free agents that are 30 or older unless
they are the missing piece of a championship run. I just don’t think it’s prudent to pay for
the downside of a player’s career (an exception would be an organizational treasure
such as Kobe). And with the Laker’s core
all being between 19 and 24 years of age it made no sense to make such long
term commitments to players aged 30 and above who were either on their downward
arc (Deng) or whose production had plateaued (Mozgov). The final 3 years of Deng’s deal looks really
ugly. While I like Mozgov — he’s averaging
8 pts, 5 boards in 21 minutes. Even if
he keeps that up for the next 3 plus years it still begs the question: is that
worth $64 mil?
understand the need for vets to stabilize the roster I think we bought high and
had we exhibited more patience we could have purchased similar production for a
fraction of the cost/contract length. Jim and Mitch were at a distinct disadvantage last
summer in their negotiations with free agents. Coming off another losing season
with questions around Jim/Mitch’s job security, how good are the kids and whether Luke could
coach. No wonder we had to overpay for
Mozgov and Deng. It’s as if the
decision was mandatory: improve regardless the cost. I truly think the Jim/Jeanie dysfunctional
relationship was the driving force. Otherwise,
the better course of action would be to have faith in your coach/the kids and
wait until next summer when the promise of your on court performance would
enable you to attract much better talent.
other reason why I would have waited until next summer to aggressively pursue
free agents is that we still owe two of our next three 1st round
draft picks to other teams. Losing the
2017 pick guarantees that we lose the 2019 pick. Deng and Mozgov were always going to have
their largest impact in year one – essentially driving up our wins and making
the odds of keeping the pick very long.
Again, organic growth this year takes us from 17 wins to 25 while giving
us a ping pong ball’s bounce of keeping the pick. Our current pace of 35 wins will not only leave
us short of the playoffs but will increases the odds of losing both picks.
I know this train of thought angers many of
the Lakers’ faithful who believe we already have four young all-stars on the
roster and that more kids would simply muddy the waters. My response is that: a) yes, our kids can
play but I don’t know what their ceilings are yet; and b) acquiring assets are
beneficial — draft picks are assets that can be kept/developed or traded. No downside for either in my estimation.
I hope we get Russel back soon, especially if he can show more of the mobility he had in preseason.
mattal I think this is well written and thought out and I’d like to explore it.
Would you agree that you are making two related arguments?:
1: Last year’s vet signings(Moz and Deng) are here on bad contracts for a variety of reasons which you described, and we might have been able to get better value with other players perhaps this coming offseason or beyond.
2: The acquisition of those veterans is going to raise our win total and cost us a pick that could really help us.
I think point #1 is valid, although the free agent classes in the next couple years look pretty lackluster to me beyond a couple of headliners. Point #2 I have an issue with for some specific reasons. Namely, we aren’t getting all that much production out of Moz and Deng. Moz is important in that his skill set is vital to the system but he isn’t a cornerstone while Deng has been largely lackluster. The vets that have been inflating our win totals are actually Nick Young and Lou Williams and they were already here. The key to the tank last year was Byron Scott and Kobe. We didn’t know it at the time but the hiring of Luke Walton quietly lost us the first round pick at the end of this season.
Mid Wilshire says
mattal I believe that your argument — that the Lakers should have held off on making any major investments in recruiting veteran talent to next year — makes sense more on a theoretical level than it does in reality.
What I mean is this: the reality is that the Lakers were in need of both a center and a small forward for this season. (Kobe was retiring and Hibbert did not pan out and was not going to be re-signed.) Another reality is that the NBA salary cap was sky-rocketing dramatically because of increased revenues for the league. All of that skewed salaries upward to unheard-of levels. (See the following web site: http://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/2016-nba-free-agency-explaining-the-crazy-contracts-given-out-day-1/
In addition to that, 4-year contracts became the norm not the exception. How did this happen? Simple economics: supply and demand. If you need a small forward and Kent Bazemore won’t talk to the Lakers (because he prefers to remain in Atlanta), then you approach Luol Deng (or some other SF). Both players are demanding 4-year contracts worth $15-18 mill per year. If you don’t pay it, someone else will. Then why not approach someone else such as, say, Solomon Hill. New Orleans did and they beat everyone to the punch by paying him $13 mill over 4 years. (This, as it turns out, was not a good deal.) So, suddenly, all salaries — including the length of the contracts — became dramatically inflated…overnight. Here’s a brief summary of some of the contracts that were signed at the end of last season to illustrate my point.
Mike Conley — 5 years, $26,540,100 per year
Harrison Barnes — 4 years, $23,609,631 per year
Chandler Parsons — 4 years, $22,116,750
Nicolas Batum — 5 years, $20,869,566
Allen Crabbe — 4 years, $18,500,00
Tobias Harris — 4 yrs., $17,200,000
Evan Fournier — 4 yrs., $17,000,000
Bismack Biyombo — 5 yrs., $17,000,000
Evan Turner — 5 yrs., $16,393,493
Ian Mahinmi — 4 yrs., $15,994,154
Kent Bazemore — 4 yrs., $15,730,338
Solomon Hill — 4 yrs., $13,000,000
I could offer other examples, but I think the point is clear. Regardless of whom the Lakers would have signed (and bear in mind, not everyone on this list was willing to talk to the Lakers), they would have had to offer a minimum of a 4-year deal between $13 mill (as a bare minimum) and $20 mill or more. If they had signed Mack the night watchman, he would have demanded 4 years and $12 mill.
The economics dictated the terms. The Lakers were at the mercy of the new reality. Even in a case such as Mozgov where they made him an offer in the first hour of free agency, I sense that the Lakers (and other teams) had already tested the waters of what would be acceptable as a minimum contract. Three years was too little. And the salary? $16-$18 mill was apparently the going rate. The Lakers could have brought in a cadaver and it would have cost them dearly.
Given the reality of the circumstances, the Lakers did what they could. If this were 2014, those would have been scandolously poor deals. But in 2016, it all makes sense…somehow.
MT87 and Mid:
My understanding is that the NBA wanted to spread out the
cap increase over several years while the Players Association wanted it all at
once — which created last summer’s frenzy. 20 plus teams had space to sign a max player.
In that sense it was unique and crazy as
the contracts given out would suggest.That
is not the case going forward.
This coming season the cap goes up to $102 million from the
current $94 million. With many teams
having spent their space last summer coupled with a smaller increase there will
be less dollars chasing free agents next summer. I’m not as smart as you but your
rationalization on why the Lakers had to spend reminded me of the saying, ‘If
your friend jumped off a cliff would you jump too?” In
other words just because other teams are making bad decisions doesn’t mean the lkaers had to as well.
I like Mozgov and if the Lakers were closer to
competing and needed a center I wouldn’t have an issue with him. But that’s not where the Lakers are. I can’t
even come up with a reason why Deng fits these Lakers’. It just looks like the FO felt they had to
make a playoff push to satisfy Jeanie.
Almost like Jim/Mitch said, “If this works out we’ll keep our jobs and
we’ll figure out what to do with the Mozgov/Deng contracts later. And if it doesn’t work out it’ll be someone
else’s problem.’ I think the Lakers FO
played a losing hand last summer. I want
the Lakers to think championships. It feels like Mitch and Jim were thinking 8th
seed or bust.
The Lakers have a two to three year window to spend on free
agents. In two years the Lakers will
begin dealing with the 2nd contracts for Randle, then the following summer
it will be Russell and Nance. At some point we’ll use up our cap space resigning our own players. My hope was that this window should be used to obtain younger free agents that can not
only fill the experience gap now but actually be there to contribute when the
Lakers start to make their way up the standings. For the next four years the Lakers are
spending 33% of their cap space on Mozgov/Deng whose year one production is likely to be the high water mark for their Lakers careers. I think the Lakers could have done better.
_ Robert _ says
mattal At some point we’ll use up our cap space resigning our own players
Bingo – and they all going to want close to max. And if you sign your own players at max – they better be superstars.
” For the next four years the Lakers are spending 33% of their cap space on Mozgov/Deng whose year one production is likely to be the high water mark for their Lakers careers.” Did not check your math – but that is painful.
“I think the Lakers could have done better.” You and me both. However we are comparing to what is needed to build a contender. We should compare to 19 wins and we will “enjoy the ride”.
mattal It seems to me that what we are debating is a question of opportunity cost. We already know about what it cost for talent this last off season as Mid Wilshire aptly demonstrated; at least from where we stand right now I don’t see that we missed any great opportunities. The four year deals suck, but not because there was a superior option available last off-season. There were other flawed options sure, but no superior ones.
There are going to be fewer teams with max money to throw around the next couple of off-seasons, but the underlying supply/demand problem will not have gone anywhere. If you are looking for young talent that can grow with the core that is worth throwing money at there just aren’t that many credible options coming up. If we are looking at under age 30 (at time of signing) unrestricted free agents that fill the same spots as Moz or Deng these are the options that are relevant:
2017: Tyreke Evans, Omri Caspi, Javale Mcgee, Blake Griffin
2018: Gordan Hayward, Robert Covington, Jerami Grant, Derrick Favors, Greg Monroe, Demarcus Cousins
2019: Paul George, Terrance Ross, Al-Faruq Aminu, Enes Kanter, Nikola Vucavic, Nikola Jokic
I left out some restricted free agents, but if they are really that good they are either going to be overpriced or unavailable. From where I’m standing there aren’t going to be a lot of options the next couple of years but the options that are there will still be doable regardless of the Deng and Mozgov deals.
I miss Russell too, and though I loathe to admit it, find myself thinking that the Lakers are a bit less interesting to watch when he’s not on the floor.
Imo, he’s the most talented player on the roster, and despite his growing pains I have faith that he will become our superstar.
Having said that, I’m not blind to his flaws, yet I believe if someone would address his physical issues, he will overcome.
To be more precise, his athletic prowess imo is related to weaknesses starting from his toes, to feet, and all the way up his lower body.
Combined with lack a flexibility in his rear leg muscles creates a situation where it’s difficult to build the legs properly.
This creates a person using uncoordinated methods to compensate, which fans notice unconsciously, and tend to judge his potential based on those, and his inability to keep in front of players who don’t suffer from that inadequacy.
If anyone watched his workouts with weights, they would notice how he rounds his back when dead lifting, a sign of tight posterior muscles.
These however are problems which with proper training, can be corrected.
I believe in D’Angelo, however despite his shortcomings, due to what he was gifted with from birth, which few players have, and is a killer instinct which shines best when there is most to lose or gain, and the skill to use that instinct to devastating effect.
Yes, he’s silly and sometimes his focus is lax, but I think Walton will sharpen this blade he’s got and turn him into our Katana.
As for Walton’s playoff push.
I don’t believe it was his original intention, and his pre-season interviews support this.
Didn’t he say that wins and losses were not the focus, only development?
I think that once we started to win, either the front office, Walton himself, or the team started to believe they could take a playoff slot.
Though maybe a combination of all three is more probable.
In either case, he’s under no pressure as far as I’m concerned.
I’m perfectly happy just watching the baby lakers grow up.
There are those however, to which wins, only create a thirst for more, and will feel cheated if you don’t deliver.
Once they happens, team gutting trade talk will rise up to engulf this forum.
new rr says
Mid Wilshire mattal
One of the standard
tropes of FO defense narratives is disempowering the Lakers’ decision makers:
“The economics dictated the terms. The Lakers were at the mercy of the new
reality.” This is, of course, false. The Lakers could have gone cheap at
the 5 (Nene is playing for 1/2.9 for example, or they could have just picked up
a cheap body, and let whoever that was share the 5 with Tarik Black and Zubac,
especially since Walton usually goes small for awhile each game) and simply
ignored Deng, and gone with Ingram, Brown, Nance, Randle, and Robinson at
forward. There would have been some initial internet blowback, but the
Lakers as a commercial product revolve around Walton and the five young guys,
especially the three lottery picks, not Deng and Mozgov. The Lakers signed Deng
and Mozgov because they wanted to. So, the real question is whether these moves
were a good idea on the merits. I agree
with mattal on a lot of stuff, but I tend to think that these deals were done
with Walton’s full backing and approval and were not just attempts to save Jim
Buss’ job. I expect that:
a)Walton believes that young guys will develop
better with veterans around and if the team is somewhat competitive.
b)Since Walton has been around big winners all
his basketball life–his dad, Lute Olson, Phil Jackson, Steve Kerr— he had no
intention of coaching a team designed to lose 55-60 games. He said what he said
to avoid putting pressure on the young guys, but the way he has actually run the
team does not suggest a guy who is engaged in a full-on tank/rebuild. I said in
preseason that I thought the Deng and Mozgov deals suggested that the Lakers
wanted to try to compete immediately, and I still think that, and the way he is
using Young and Williams suggests the same thing.
c)He sees the team as an organic whole based on
a synergistic culture and interconnected roles, and uses guys accordingly,
rather than simply starting Russell/Clarkson/Ingram/Randle/Mozgov and seeing
what happens, which is I think what many coaches would have done.
My own opinion, as I
stated before FA, was that the Lakers did need to bring in a competent 5 to
stabilize the team defense and rotation. The guy I liked, Biyombo, is on a team
where he is a very poor fit, and has done very poorly, and as noted by many,
Mozgov has played pretty well and is outplaying the other FA centers. I would
still rather have Biyombo than Mozgov, but it is a moot point and Mozgov has to
this point roundly outplayed Biyombo. I was not big on the Deng deal because of
his age and mileage, and the play of Nance Jr., combined with the fact that
Ingram, although he is not productive, does not appear overmatched, make Deng
The team’ early-season
friskiness has been fun, but the two questions remain:
1.How good are the lottery picks, really?
2.Is Walton going to be a high-impact coach
(looks like he is).
Rudy Gay is not a Superstar or an All-Star. He would be great on a contender like where he could be a 3rd option.
I know I said all the things you guys are now saying earlier!
The Lakers have been a surprise but like I said … Jimbo is trying to save his arse. Costing us picks and Money!
No big-time FA is coming here! Think I better say it again… No big-time FA is coming here!!!!!!!! Why? Ask Stephen A…. Jimbo is the worst FO exec in BB.
Russell take it slow. No need to rush back… You have your whole career ahead of you and this is definitely concerning. Inflammation in just 20 games… Mayb all the USA ball and what not? Rest up!
Agreed regarding Russell’s athleticism … He is not elite in that category. It is his skill level that is elite for a player his age. Kid will probably grow a bit more be about 6′ 6″ perfect for SG where he truly belongs.
Lol… Love your tact and you are dead on because his herky jerky Mark Jackson moves bother hell out of me when he is at PG.
He is like Curry in some aspects… Curry is an elite offensive player. Russell is showing some potential in that area. GS has others handle the ball so Curry can get into the sets and focus on scoring. Lakers do that also if you notice. Curry has good hands but is no defensive gem so Klay guards who Curry cannot. Lakers don’t guard anyone right now lol… But we don’t have a stopper so that should have been addressed in the guard rotation.
Killer Instincts… Too early to tell because this team has not played a game that truly matters since the Kobe/Gasol days… Lets revist that one shall we. The kid is a keeper but as I have said and will keep saying… Put him at the 2 and watch this kid roast the league! Best jumper that no hardly sees cause we keep trying to make him the second coming of Earvin. No one is EARVIN baby… NO ONE! Best team player of all-time. I do believe that Byron Scott figured it out because there was a strecth he moved Russell to the 2 and had Clarkson at the 1. Russell scored 34 I believe and bombed GS out of the building during that strecth. But I bet Jimbo was not having that. I believe they might be getting it though. Trade talks for a certain PG out east have been ongoing. Obama might not be the only one packing his stuff in DC come January.
Doubt if Randle will be here in 2 years especially if we get Cousins. His name has come quite often in trade rumors.
Mid Wilshire says
new rr Mid Wilshire mattal It’s very easy to criticize the front office by claiming that they failed to achieve certain theoretical goals (they should have signed only veterans under 30, they should have signed them for 3 years or less, they should not have offered anyone over $10 mill per year, etc.). But it’s a different matter when you look at the reality of the situation including the economics of the new salary cap, the list of players available, and the reality that not all players were willing to talk to them.
In order to sign, say, a SF to a contract who is under 30 and would be willing to cede the starting position to Ingram in 2 years and be willing to play for $10-12 mill per year or less, the Lakers would have found themselves with a very short list. The truth is that very few players would be willing to even have a conference call with a team that 1) had won only 17 games in an historically disastrous season, 2) had just signed a rookie head coach, 3) was faced with a major leadership vacuum on the court, and 4) had a 20-year old, turnover-prone, shoot-first point guard with highly publicized locker room issues running the offense. Many of the players whom they would have liked to consider probably simply did not accept their phone calls.
One of those, reportedly, was Kent Bazemore who would, theoretically, have been an excellent fit at the SF position. But he reportedly turned down the Lakers and signed with Atlanta. (For what it’s worth, Bazemore was my 1st choice as a signing for SF.) So, with Bazemore off the table who was left? Harrison Barnes signed quickly with Memphis (4 yrs. at $23 mill per season). Nicolas Batum re-signed with Charlotte (4 yrs. at $20.8 mill per season). Tobias Harris signed with Detroit, Evan Fournier with Orlando, Evan Turner with Portland, and Solomon Hill (whom I liked but has struggled mightily this season) with New Orleans. It’s difficult to say if any of these players would have even met with the Lakers.
When Deng then agreed to talk to the Lakers, they must have been very relieved. Bear in mind that in coming off a 17-win season, the Lakers were not in the cat-bird seat. They needed someone to man that position. And Deng was available.
So, was the signing of Luol Deng ideal? No. But he was very possibly — at the time — the best of the lot. The Lakers, simply put, were at the mercy of the reality of the situation. There were probably few players who were truly willing to talk to them. (I doubt that Nene would have met with them and, at 34, would have been a poor fit, even as a one-year rental.) So they ended up by signing Deng and Mozgov.
In theory, these signings were not at all ideal. I’m the first to admit it. But in reality, the Lakers did what they could.
One final note: I do not consider myself a front office apologist. I consider myself a realist. There’s a difference.
Tact? Lol,.. I was serious, his weaknesses can be overcome.
I have studied in kinesiology and know that it’s possible.
As for his being clutch under pressure, though what ‘truly matters’ is up to each one of us to decide, the examples here are valid imo.
Since you bring up Klay’s defense, here is another just for fun.
LordMo Sometimes it seems like you are actively rooting for failure.
A Horse With No Name says
LordMo “Ask Stephen A!” Bye.
new rr says
Mid Wilshire new rr mattal
I suggested signing a younger 5 who actually makes more than Mozgov does, and simply not signing a small forward, and going with Ingram, Brown, Young and/or a guy off the free-talent pile. I never said anything in that post about Bazemore, Hill, Fournier, Crabbe, or any of those other guys.
Whether doing what I think they probably should have tried to do would have been better than what the FO actually did is an open question. But the FO did have choices (not unlimited ones, of course) as to what they could do, and so presumably they did what they wanted to do. The fact that they signed Mozgov in the first three hours of free agency is very strong evidence to that effect.
A Horse With No Name @MT87
Failure…really? No @MT87 I call it like I see it. Giving up assets to make sure Jimbo keeps his promise is idiotic period! What pains me is that we will be stuck with him if we hover around sub .500 and miss the playoffs which we probably will but improved enough where he cannot be ousted. For this organization to come back to glory he has to step aside. Trust me if I was an agent of a big time player … you don’t even get an interview… example Kevin Durant, LeBron, Melo, etc.
Thats right Steven A called it correctly. Might not like his bombastic approach but what he is saying is dead on! Jimbo might be the worst FO exec in Sports right now. Not there because of his knowledge but because Daddy put him there… insane! The article said “Take your son to Work day”…nice! Universally, not respected around the league period! Just because the team has improved do not give him a pass. We couldn’t do anything but improve after the years he gave us at the helm. Don’t be fooled this is not a recipe for long-term success.
P.S He promised a “deep playoff” run this year. But maybe that’s after he told everyone we would sign Durant and Westbrook.
LordMo A Horse With No Name I know you’re trying to call it like you see it, but I’m not sure you’re calling it like it is. When you refer to assets I assume you mean the pick right? Signing Mozgov and Deng is not the reason why we are going to lose the pick this year. It is the signing of Luke Walton which ended the tank. Do you think signing Walton was a mistake because it was done to save Jim’s job and get wins which jeopardize our pick?
Kareemez _ Robert _
Nice post, though I agree with LordMo about Gay. Gay at his current salary of about 12 million is a bargain. He will demand more next year though, he isn’t really a superstar type talent, and he is getting older.
MT87 LordMo A Horse With No Name
Lol…Tankmaster, nice! But Byron has coached his team to Finals. He is a decent NBA level coach but old school which these youngsters cannot handle.
I’m sure he was directed to play for the pick. Plus he was saddled down with the Kobe Farewell Tour.
It was not fair to Byron period… He was setup for failure and took one for the organization. A Good Laker in my book and he will always be. Do not understand the hate towards him at all. It should all be directed at Jimbo.
_ Robert _ says
One topic it seems that we can agree on is Luke. He is our best
decision and acquisition in the Jim Buss era. I do not think there is any
pressure on Luke per say. He has job security for a few years minimum if not
more, almost no matter what happens.
That however does not mean the team is not trying to win in the short
run, and a debate over whether that is in our best interests, is a valid
discussion. In my case, I have never really been a tanker (although I see some
merits), so on that score – let the chips fall where they may. However if you
tell me that we can win 5 more games by having Lou and Nick be feature guys,
then I will pass and take the lower win total.
I find it ironic how people are talking about “impatience” when I do
not see anyone really being that way.What I see is some who are questioning whether we are on the best long
term path, while others have fully signed on with the “have faith”
argument.I do not see anybody on this
board expressing a “win now” at all costs attitude (whether anyone in the Laker
org is doing this or not is unknown).
I think it really comes down to the appraisal of our youngsters. If
you are of the belief that we can have a couple of good starters who could be
All Stars (but not SuperStars), then there is concern, because this means we
have a long way to go before contention (this is my belief). It also means that
the Deng/Mosgov deals could be more costly, then if:You feel that Russell’s, Ingram’s,
Randle’s, and Nance’s jerseys will all hang on the Wall, someday- well then all
is good and not to worry.
So to go back to my car analogy. The last couple of years, the Laker
vehicle was not even running and was up on blocks.We now have it on the road and the car is
moving.Some are saying -yea – but “where are we going”,while others are saying-“Isn’t this great !,we are
moving”.Neither is wrong.
It really comes down to whether we are “California Dreamin” or whether
we are still “Under the Bridge”
LordMo MT87 A Horse With No Name A good deal of the hate directed toward Jim Buss probably deserves to be directed at David Stern imo. Nobody is calling Jim the worst front office exec in the league if we have Chris Paul.
I’m a little concerned my fellow fans have something akin to stockholm syndrome. Concerns about winning too much? Really?
The opening to this season has far exceeded my expectations. The string of injuries and the piling losses have been disappointing but, I see the Lakers generally going in the right direction.
The long term results on Mozgov and Deng are yet to be seen. But so far I’m unexpectedly very happy with Mozgov.
Considering how bad the Lakers were supposed to be this year, I can’t say enough that this year has been a remarkable progress. Games are watchable, even enjoyable. Let’s see what comes next.
I agree that last year was a tank. Byron jerked Randle and DAR in and out of the lineup, relegated Black to the doghouse and let Kobe run wild. Kobe was down with the program too. Ingram is Kobe’s parting gift. The FO will never fess up but I’ve always believed that last season was set up to obtain Simmons or Ingram. And it worked,
MT87 LordMo A Horse With No Name
Your right forgot about David “The BackStabber” Stern.
After all Dr. Buss did for the league. Want to know how the NBA became awash in TV money. Look no further than Dr. Buss he came up with the business model. It was rumored that Dr. Buss never forgave him for that blatant move to thwart the Lakers from running off another string of multiples. Good Point! But Jimbo gets a ton of blame also.
WE R WATCHING U JIMBO!!!!
Simmons on this team would be insane!
He reportedly does not want to play there still and his agent has been trying to get him here.
It is all about Markets and the kid would be huge in the PAC RIM if he was in LA… from down under!
His agent knows there is a void here in terms of a Superstar and that his client would be Mega-Uber here.
At least someones agents gets it!
Clay Bertrand says
new rr Mid Wilshire mattal
Nice discussion Dudes!!!!!!! Salient points all around and great posts!!!!
I think an abstract notion emerging from all of the comments that has been nominally touched on, is that Luke Walton is really making a far greater impact than anyone realistically thought he could this early in his career as a head coach in the NBA— especially with this group.
I think that during the off season, the FO and Luke himself both acted/approved of the plan to secure vet players not only to stabilize the team as the young players develop, but also to give a fledgling Head Coach who may have a rough start to his career more margin for error as he learns his new job and begins to change the culture.
I think they all thought it would take some time for the seeds to begin to grow under Luke and for he himself to grow into the job and become an effective NBA head guy.
It ends up, if early returns are an adequate/accurate sample size, that Luke is highly effective, resilient and even a little innovative to a degree in his deep rotation and subtsitution patterns etc. His coaching impact thus far seems to indicate he very well would have been JUST FINE without the training wheels that are Mozgov and Deng. Luke is a Freshman playing well on the Varsity team!! He doesn’t need to play JV first like we thought he would.
Clearly Swaggy and Lou are boosting this team’s octane big time. Luke is getting the best out of both players and they are really balling much to their credit.
Simply put, the team is exceeding expectations at this point.
I could be wrong, but I have to believe had the Lakers known how immediately effective Luke would turn out to be, they would have proceeded somewhat differently in Free Agency. Although, as has been mentioned, even those other FA options were not likely going to be seen as bargains by ANY stretch. Indeed, most of the big money signings for these mostly role players have not seen shining results league wide.
Still, even with Deng and all the recent injuries, it’s light years better than last year!!!!! (But then, so is a kick in the Cajones sooooo……..yeah………)
new rr says