Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Mark Blount's Port Cellar: Celtics Forum' started by wade boggs chicken dinner, Jul 20, 2018.
Is this a reality show, a NBA team, or both?
I actually like Beasley for that roster. I am with the crowd that think the Lakers may still make a bold move before the season starts but until then, he gives them a bit more scoring and he has shown the ability to shoot around 40% from deep over the last few seasons, albeit on limited attempts. He is abysmal at defense but I doubt he will be asked to play meaningful minutes where he needs to do anything other than score.
He's like a lesser Kuzma. Kinda redundant but you can never have enough offense.
With LaVar in the front room behind the bench screaming at Walton. I love this team lol.
It’ll be entertaining af, but — barring a big move for another elite player — I’m still getting a strong whiff of “tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
One 34 y.o. superstar + no other Top 50 (100?) players + no chemistry + head coach in over his head + clueless GM who thinks Rondo is a better “uptempo PG” than Ball + inflated expectations = a wildly entertaining shitshow of a #4-6 seed?
Edit: I actually like Beasley (rich man’s Melo, imho) but I’m not sure how well he fits on that team.
A wildly entertaining #5 +/-2seed, which is exactly what I expect, would be a big upgrade. You know you’ll be watching too.
I think you are spot on though I like Walton for this team so I wouldn't necessarily characterize him as in over his head. Given his pedigree, his low-key approach (which should minimize the chances of him butting heads with LeBron) and the fact that Magic/Pelinka appear to be fully supporting him, I think he has as good a chance as anyone to make lemonade out of lemons here.
The Lakers are truly relevant now just by having LeBron on their roster. They will once again be the most followed team in the NBA.
Both you and snomanny are correct too. They will likely be a wildly entertaining shitshow lower-seed and simultaneously meet or exceed the hopes of their front-office, fans and NBA watchers everywhere. Adam Silver's final phase transformation into C. Montgomery Burns is almost complete.
LeBron doesn’t stand a chance against that lineup.
It may be a "fact" that it "appears" Magic is supporting Walton but let's not forget that Walton was NOT a Magic hire nor was he a LeBron hire. There are no championship aspirations for LeBron with this particular Lakers team and they all know this...….it will be next offseason when the Lakers begin compiling the necessary pieces to make their real runs. If ever there was a favorite for a coach to be one-and-done it is Luke Walton.
Actually "fact" wasn't the best choice of words there. And you are correct that Walton was neither a Magic nor LeBron chosen coach. However, he is a championship member of the Laker family, an NBA legacy and essentially a branch of the Phil Jackson, Kerr/Popovich coaching trees.
Having watched Walton enough over the years, I feel confident that he is going to be a head coach in this league for as long as he wants. He has the street cred with the young players given his age and experience, generally makes sound coaching decisions and appears comfortable with analytics. Finally - and I think this is a huge asset of Walton's - he is comfortable enough with who he is that he is fairly low-key. Ty Lue gets a lot of grief in NBA circles but one of the reasons he "succeeded" in Cleveland was that he knew who the star of the show was. Walton has displayed a similar quiet approach to running his team and seemed to weather the LaVar Ball storm reasonably well.
I won't rule out one and done for Walton as the Lakers coach this year. But I don't have it as my base case.
I think Walton is probably a top 10 coach in the league right now and is still improving. That doesn't mean that he will survive in LA, but getting rid of him would likely be a significant mistake.
That's pretty much spot on in re Walton. He's a really good coach for the reasons you state and the only thing I'd add is that Buss loves him, too....and she has power in this. He is not at all over his head -- he's a good combo of analytics and cred from having been a player as well as working quite well with young players. In re Randle's huge improvement last season, there was a lot of Phil in how Walton both supported and needled him....but it got results even if it pissed Randle off.
Note that the only time the Lakers brass responded to LaVar it was when he criticized Walton -- and reportedly the locker room had his back, too.
Anything could happen, but Walton is part of the Laker solution. Though god knows he'll be tested with some of the knuckleheads they've given him this year.
If the entire Lakers' offseason were some sort of trial by fire plan to improve Walton's player management skills as fast as possible, everything would suddenly make sense.
Maybe I'm the only one but I kind of like what the Lakers have created. Competition between Lance, Rondo, Javale and Beasley as oldsters and the youngsters Kuzma, Hart, Ball, Ingram, is healthy and appealing to me. It gives Lebron a bunch of players to see who he can get the most out of. They'll be competing for PT and with their length they can field a team that could be pretty good defensively if they are committed to defense. Even short man Rondo has a 6'9" wingspan. I figure their gameplan is to run and play D with a lot of guys who can handle the ball. Should be fun to watch for LA fans. The celebs will be back this year.
Meh. Nobody knows for sure, but the clock is ticking on the amount of time LeBron has left to be LeBron. I'm glad they are wasting a year of it.
When you have limited options in setting up for next summer this is what you have to do. Who was available on cheap one-year deals this summer to make the Lakers true contenders this season? It was dreamland to think Pop and RC were going to assist them in building their dynasty this year.
They now have the potential to put a lethal team around him next summer.
On one side, the personalities seem extreme -- Lance, Rondo, Beasley are all on the nutso side. Given that, you're right, there is a lot of depth and, hence, competition for minutes, but that also means there's gotta be some real high drama potential particularly under the media spotlight if some of those guys get crazy.
On the flip, basketball-wise I agree this is a good stopgap solution and should really clarify for the Lakers what they have in Ball, Ingram, Hart, Kuzma (and the 2 new rookies, each of whom looked good in summer league and might bring the outside shooting they otherwise seem to lack). And, yes, Lebron is getting older...but he's also Lebron. I've wondered for years if it wouldn't be great to see him in a more fast-paced offense. To me it really suits his skillset -- his amazing passing ability, in particular -- so I think it'll be a lot of fun.
In re re-building the Lakers, the upside is the young players develop and one or two of the older/1-year contract guys show they're part of a the long-term plan, and the team is good enough to be in the middle of the playoff pack -- 6 or 7 seed or something. That'll be an incredibly appealing package to guys like Leonard, Butler, Walker. A great player, good supporting cast with depth, developing young studs, but not so good that you get accused of being a Durant and just going for a ring the team would win anyway. All in Los Angeles.
The downside is it's a shit show with sniping, backbiting that reinforces Kyrie's "better to build something separate from Lebron than with him" model. The one year contracts are one and done, but they model for the kids how not to be professional, and.....down the tubes.
Probably will be a bit of both, but gonna be fun to watch...
I think it’s in part a bet that LeBron can control all those personalities—which is not a terrible bet.
Their moves strike me as filling out the roster on a team with a big 3 or 4, except they paid big money for those pieces and they are a big 1. They signed guys that would be good additions to an already established playoff team.
Split off from the NBA Offseason Thread.
The Lakers: wildly entertaining and down the tubes.
Whether it could have happened or not, I'm just glad it didn't. Every summer it doesn't happen is another 3,000 minutes on the LeBrometer and no title.
The Lakers are doing what they ought to in this situation -- throw shit at the wall and hope something sticks. I wouldn't be surprised if half these signings are back on the waiver wire come January.
Paid big money for who? Every signing post-LeBron has been a one-year deal in preparation of next summers free agent frenzy.
For the people who hate the one year deals, who should the Lakers have spent their money on this summer? Was signing Jabari Parker or Marcus Smart at the expense of playing in next year's FA market a better path than this one?
When teams have a big 3/big 4, there are usually vets willing to sign on for much cheaper than they did.
This crazy roster can win 50 games and become a very tough playoff out. IDK if a 32 year old Rondo can play all season at the level he did in the playoffs last year (10/12/7 and 41% from three), but he loves playing in the spotlight, and every LeBron game is a spotlight game.
There are enough plus three point shooters on this team - Ingram, Pope, Kuz, Hart, Beaz, probably rookie Wagner. There's lots of length, with everyone besides Rondo 6'5" and taller. They can run, and have three very good distributors, in RR, Ball, and LeBron.
The big question will be how LeBron approaches the regular season. Does he dominate the ball, like he did in Cleveland, or does he make an effort to be more of a finisher, and let Rondo and Ball do a lot of the set up work? I'm guessing they are going to try to run and shoot threes in initial offense, and if stymied, will go to LBJ in the post to either score or kick it out or hit cutters.
There is a lot of crazy on the roster, and off it. I expect Ball's father to get punched in the face at least once this season. Most likely candidates -- Beaz, Rondo, Lance.
Agreed......what does this have to do with the Lakers who presently have a Big-1? The purpose of the 1-years is to CREATE a big3/big4 (big2 even) next summer while having an entire offseason for those vets to recognize the Lakers as a viable ring chasing opportunity. There were no avenues to creating such a team this year on short notice.
I think there's two interesting questions and a couple non-interesting ones IMO).
One interesting one is whether they should have cashed in a couple of the kids for Kawhi, if that was possible. That may have been within their control. They likely wanted PG13 and he didn't want them---that's not interesting to explore because there's every reason to believe it was out of their control.
Another interesting one is once you don't get Kawhi or PG13, who do you sign? The group they did (with the theory we've read being "playmakers who play defense") or some other group? The Cleveland approach was to surround Lebron with 3 and D guys. But don't Lakers have a lot of those pieces already, between KCP (sort of a choice there, though i suspect not really), Kuzma, Hart, Ingram, to some degree Ball? So what else would you have done to fill out roster---I guess you could have tried to get Reddick, or you could have tried to get Ariza instead of Rondo/Stevenson. What else?
A non-interesting question is "why didn't they get a second star" more generally, becasue other than paying more for Kawhi there isn't an obvious path here. And what they did was essentially punt cap room to next summer, a very rational choice.
They could have kept Randle - that he took 2, $19m, from the Hornets suggests that he could have been had for the right 1 year offer. I don't think it's reasonable to say that Javale McGee was indispensable to what they are trying to achieve in 2018-19. Maybe they could have gone after someone like Reddick who took a huge paycut and would have been able to hit those open 3s Lebron could get him. Some of the moves make sense but was it really necessary to sign Rondo AND Lance, AND Beasley AND Javale... or were there other options?
The one-year deal strategy, on the other hand, made great sense.
I am interested to know which teams the consensus feels will be beaten out for the playoffs in the West this year. It seems like many are projecting 50 wins and an automatic playoff berth for this team, and that may well be correct( I mean, it is Lebron). That said, last year only GS and Houston won more than 49 games in the West. The Cavs only won 50 in a weaker East division, and that flawed team still was likely better than this Lakers team. None of the 8 playoff teams in the West appear to be significantly worse this year, at least enough to drop completely out of the playoffs. Houston should be worse, but still should be in the 55 win range. GS still won't try but should also win 55 +. Utah and New Orleans should be better. The DeRozan trade probably helps SA in the regular season. So that is 5 spots, before mentioning OKC, Portland and Minnesota. Denver should be better. If healthy, Memphis will no longer be an automatic win, and may even compete for a playoff spot. The Clippers are interesting. Who does the board think, baring injury, will be displaced by LA?
Javale, Lance, Rondo and Beas are veteran's min guys at this point in their careers. KCP was a big overpay too, but that one makes some sense given his age and last year's modest improvements (and let's be honest, the agent thing). You've rightly pointed out that they didn't take on long-term money and that's good, but there is an opportunity cost to eating up all that cap room now rather than later. They could have used that space for an unbalanced trade at the deadline. They could have done the Faried deal with Denver and picked up a draft asset. Or they could have been bigger players on the buyout market later. You just never know what sorts of deals might come available and they bowed out on that to lock in a bunch of marginal talents.
Would Smart have been crazy for LA to sign? Seems like Lebron being the focal point of the offense would have negated to a degree Smarts biggest negatives. While having him be a defensive mad man against GS/Hous/Port etc etc would help Lebron on that end.
And a Ball/Smart Backcourt (at times) would have been hilarious.
To wit, the Warriors got Boogie Cousins, Jonas Jerebko, Kevon Looney and Quinn Cook — all on one year deals — for $12M total, or what the Lakers paid for KCP.
Cook may not be a fair inclusion, since he was locked up late in the season, but he is the type of sightly off-the-radar player that smart GMs target. I think you can easily make an case that his elite shooting (44% career from 3) makes for a better basketball fit than Rondo a team built around LeBron that also has Lonzo Ball. If not Cook, how about Sauce Castillo (1 year / $1.6M with BKN)?
I'm sure Magic would argue that Rondo is better than guys like that because he's a "savvy vet with playoff experience who can mentor the kids." I don't really buy the "good mentor" argument (that's what the coaches are for, including Coach LeBron); and I think the "playoff experience" part only makes sense to the extent you believe the Lakers with Rondo have a realistic chance at making a deep playoff run, which I don't, personally (though I don't doubt Magic does).
I'd also argue that less marquee guys like Jerebko, Looney, Mike Scott, Luc Mbah A Moute, Kyle O'Quinn, Anthony Tolliver et al. could have been cheaper and better-fitting than Lance and Beas.
Once the PG and Kawhi ships sailed, Magic basically shot his capspace wad on the biggest name-brands out there who were willing to sign one-year contracts (of the 18 highest-paid players signed to one-year deals, four are Lakers). Which I guess isn't the worst thing — they kept off long-term money, and without PG or Kawhi they likely weren't competing this year either way. But I think a good GM could have done a bit better, either through targeting less name-brand guys who fit the team better, or as Cheech notes, by keeping some powder dry for moves later in the season.
But of course, all of this is assuming the PG and Kawhi ships had to sail, and that Magic had no choice but to punt a full season of LeBron at age 34. I don't really buy that. To me the inability to unite the two LA-raised stars with LeBron while he was still in his late prime — the one grouping imho that could have posed an existential threat to the GSW hegemony — has to be seen as a pretty huge failure. (I mean, I guess you could give Magic brownie points for getting LeBron in the first place, but I always felt like his moving to LA was a given).
Also, while it was greatly overshadowed by the Lebron signing, it is a major failure of that Lakers front office that they couldn't even get a meeting with Paul George. This was a guy that forced a trade out of Indiana by making it clear he planned to sign with the Lakers in one year when he reached free agency. Magic Johnson was even fined for tampering. And then not only could they not close the deal, PG wouldn't even give them a cursory phone call. Plus there are more than whispers out there that since D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle share an agent with PG that they told him how bad it is playing for that organization and that scared him away. That's bad and shouldn't be completely swept under the rug.
Just to get back to the reality show aspect of this, I happily acknowledge that there were some failures on the part of the Lakers front office. The mistake with Paul George occurred a year ago when LA didn't trade the #2 Lonzo pick for him - or better yet LA could have drafted Tatum. Lonzo was the third best of the options, but the mob demanded they pick him for entertainment value.
I also agree they have hampered their flexibility for this season with their current roster. However, they weren't going to win this year anyway (actually, I have heard repeatedly that 29 teams are just wasting their time) BUT they will be a huge huge deal in LA and get more national press/radio discussion/ESPN time than any other NBA team and that talk will continue on into Summer 2019. And I'll bet that means something to a lot of people in that organization.
Quick hypothetical here: Let's say that the Lakers win 45 games and lose in the first round of the playoffs. Are they still a sleeping giant destined to land another MVP-level talent and compete for titles? It's Los Angeles and it's Lebron, so I get the temptation to draw a line to contending, but outside of Lebron the Lakers haven't landed a major free agent in quite a while and Lebron has always had trouble attracting other superstars to play with him. I feel like this team's success is predicated on major breakthroughs from Ingram, Hart, Ball and Kuzma and we've seen plenty of talented young teams get sidetracked along the way to improvement.
The Kawhi ship hasn't sailed-- yet. But if the Lakers want him the package will have to start with Brandon Ingram and include plenty of other goodies.
If they win 45 games and lose in the first or second round-- a realistic scenario in my view-- Luke Walton's head will roll, just as Casey's did in Toronto.
The other part of Cheech's equation is that LeBron is getting older, and at some point (maybe Kawhi next year) the number two megastar that is being recruited will reasonably feel that he actually is, or soon will be, the #1 guy on the team...the team that's been built to LeBron's specs to supplement LeBron's skill set and build LeBron's empire.
One scenario I can imagine is that Magic and Pelinka told Lebron their vision, emphasized that they need to develop younger players to win (which is true, I think) and said give us a year. We'll see what the four younger players do, we'll see if we get lucky with a couple signings, and we'll work on Kawhi, etc. next summer. And if that doesn't work, and you want it, we'll auction off the four kids then to get you vets to chase a ring with.
That woulnd't be at all a bad plan to pitch him would it?
Agree with this. KCP I kind of get because it may have been a favor (or what not). McGee on a minimum is fine. But Rondo, Lance, and Beasley? You're absolutely correct - Jerebko, Mike Scott, and Luc Mbah A Moute I think would have worked out a ton better, particularly on the defensive end.
Pelinka said something about putting together a group of guys who are "tough," "two-way players," "defenders with a level of toughness," "shot makers," and have playoff experience.
With that in mind, his choices make more sense but we'll see just how well they mesh together.
Wait....Jerebko, Scott, and Mbah a Moute are needle movers? C'mon this is getting a bit out of hand now......while I am chuckling with the rest of us on the characters LeBron will have joining him you are arguing that Mike Freakin Scott and Jonas Jerebko are the ones who would have lifted the Lakers to be contenders this year?
First off, Jerebko wasn't really a get as he'd be unlikely to choose the Lakers over Golden State while Scott is his own walking character flaw. The Lakers were also reported to be in on Mbah a Moute who may have simply chosen the Clippers over them we don't know. Some people are acting like all the Lakers had to do was snap their fingers and hand pick their second unit. It feels more like they were left with scraps on 1-year deals no matter which way they went.
What about Ariza and Ed Davis?
I find the Laker offseason baffling and I find it hard to believe that LeBron would be ok with it unless he has little or no interest in competing for championships.
Yeah, it's hard to believe he somehow left the Cavs for an even weaker roster. He should have done another 1+1 and waited for another star to sign on before he bounced. Who knows though, maybe their kids will all make a leap this year.
Cleveland will do that to you. Even Lebron doesn't live forever, and mortality is buzzing at his ear. Nobody wants to go up in the river.
Good point about the ship not having sailed. Toronto may prove just a port in the storm.
i disagree about Walton though, his job depends solely on Lebrons preference.
I don't know if you're serious but Davis kinda stinks and Ariza signed for $15m prior to LeBron becoming a Laker.
I completely dismissed the idea he cared about anything but rings as ridiculous. Now I’m second guessing. Could it be he’s given up on beating GSW? Does he think he can win there? No idea what’s going on unless Kawhi shows up on the cheap somehow: having the top 2 players in the nba is indeed a very good start.
The argument is two fold. First, the personalities that Pelinka put together are so combustible that having experienced role players might work out a lot better than Rondo etc. Ingram could be really good with LBJ and if Kuzma plays more defense, these guys have some pieces. I wouldn't surprisedif people start complaining about playing time and who has the ball during the season, particularly given the personalities.
Second, I'm sure this would never happen but it would have been interesting for LAL to save cap soace that they could have used to take on a vet at midseason plus maybe get a pick out of it.
James Harden and Chris Paul just took Capela and a bunch of 3-D guys to 7 games versus GSW. How does HOU do if you switch out Harden for LBJ? If I were running LAL I would have surrounded LBJ with the likes of Mike Scott, not Rondo or Stephenson. Not sure if they are "championship contenders" but that would have been most people's strategies.
It certainly will be fascinating to find out.
If some people thought that LeBron getting Cleveland to the finals this past season was his greatest achievement, wouldn't getting these Lakers to the western semis or finals be right up there?