In our latest podcast, Pete and I are joined by Bleacher Report’s Lakers’ beat reporter and Basketball Insiders salary cap expert Eric Pincus. Eric goes into his recent reporting about the Lakers revamping of their scouting department, talks about the team’s overall FO structure, and then gets into potential off-season scenarios detailing how the Lakers might add to their roster.
Click through to listen to the episode.
Alan Pinho says
Outstanding podcast, how can I become a subscriber?
I loved the behind the scenes look at all of the changes that have been going on with the Lakers. Thanks.
Clay Bertrand says
Nice Podcast Darius. I really respect Eric Pincus and wanted to hear what his takes were. I used to bust on him a lot when he wrote for Real GM (I believe) and he was always a good sport and would return even critical emails. He once had a “scoop” on a story that the Lakers were HOT for and on the verge of acquiring Jonathan Bender. That never happened and I never let Pincus forget it. He’s come a long way as the micro media has grown from the old days.
Anyway, my favorite quote from the Podcast touches on something I have long harped on: The Miami Heat being crooked and Mitch being too straight.
Per Pincus, Mitch Kupchak’s response to a speculative comment Pincus had made that the Miami Heat, who had an injured Beno Udrih take a voluntary minimal buyout in order to keep them below the LuxuryTax, would likely re-sign the player the next season with guaranteed money to reward him for helping them circumvent the cap rules, was a completely NON sarcastic and almost astonished, “That would be ILLEGAL.” Really Mitch??????
This sums up the apparent outdated nobility that typified Lakers FO’s approach. Pat Riley is cheating the system right and left (Juwan Howard, Anthony Carter, Beno Udrih etc). Other FOs are cultivating FA courtships through back channels and skirting the league moratoriums for player contact while Mitch was busy toeing the line on the rule book which did nothing for the team but did personify his high integrity.
Admirable yes…… AND INCREASINGLY INEFFECTIVE. The Nice guy finishes last or close to it these days in the NBA. In an environment where IF YOU AIN’T CHEATIN’, YOU AIN’T TRYIN’, the high road has NO TRAFFIC on it.
Mitch was like the guy on the freeway in the fast lane going 65. Everyone else is blowing by him on the right giving dirty looks while he bellows, “DAMN YOU ALL!!!! I AM GOING THE SPEED LIMIT!!!!!!!!!!” No one rewards you for following the law when everyone else is routinely breaking it.
I hope and expect that Pelinka understands the way things are REALLY done and that he is prepared to play the game under the unwritten rules and not those Mitch so strictly adhered to.
Clay – as a damper…
In that same podcast they were talking about the last two CBAs – particularly the one we have been currently operating under (the 2nd starts this summer). The Lakers used to have a real advantage, not only because of our location, but because we had deeper pockets and those pockets could adversely drive up the costs for every other owner – whether or not they signed any free-agents. This became more an issue when the Lakers signed the large TV deal. Then examine ‘The Veto’ and you realize the Lakers were under a far bigger microscope than any other team in the league. Mitch had a much greater incentive to play it straight, because his every move was being highly scrutinized and any ‘leaks’ about deviation from the rules and the Lakers would be punished. This doesn’t make your comments wrong, but there should be some context where Mitch isn’t crucified for being honest.
Has the world come to the fact that there is no honor in honesty? If so then the front office won’t have any perceived advantage in dealing with free-agents. See http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2017/5/11/15628392/la-lakers-free-agency-rumors-nba-agent-james-harden-kobe-bryant-chris-bosh-rob-pelinka
Clay Bertrand says
You may have a point—-to a degree. I DO think there was scrutiny around the league for a time prior to the CBA that ushered in the era of revenue sharing. But that scrutiny has not continued. The David Stern Veto was in 2011—-6 years ago.
Mitch has been the same OLD SCHOOL guy for years while the landscape has changed. Its not as if the League has been eyeballing the Lakers during this last half decade since:
a.) They are sharing $50-$70 Mil a year with the other teams and
b.) They are competitively irrelevant.
I am not deriding Mitch’s high integrity. I am saying you have to rise or sink to the level of the competition if your competition is besting you. Mitch was still using the STRADDLE-WESTERN ROLL technique when the rest of the league is using the FOSBURY FLOP. Mitch still owns a BlackBerry, Mitch NEVER calls a FA before 9:00pm PDT, and MITCH DOESN’T ROLL ON SHABBOS!!!!!!!!!
“Am I the only one around here who gives a Sh*t about the RULES!!!!!!”
-Walter Sobchak/Mitch Kupchak
(Note the name similarity)
Tar Baby says
I have to agree…it’s a sad state of affairs when we’re mad that somebody isn’t cheating enough.