Logan, Brian, and Paris break down all the Cavaliers moves, what it means for the Lakers moving forward, if the Cavs are better than they were yesterday, what the Warriors staying pat means, and how Blake Griffin effects the Eastern Conference.
Tag: los angeles lakers (Page 1 of 3)
Logan and Brian give their thoughts on who’s going to win the Super Bowl, pick sides in the LeBron James vs Charles Barkley debate, question whether LeBron really knows the ins and outs of the CBA, and attempt to pick winners in the 3 Point and Dunk Contests at All Star Weekend. The pod closes with the everlasting PftK debate of whether we should Trust the Process or not.
Brian and Logan discuss the latest news and rumors in the NBA including what to do with the dumpster fires in New Orleans and Washington D.C., what kind of trade deadline deals the Sixers and Celtics should make, and whether the Lakers, Bulls, Jazz and Hornets have found fools gold. Of course, the duo are legally obligated to talk about Curry’s new three point record.
Brian is now writing for Amp Radio, hit the link below to see his latest recap in the Los Angeles sports scene:
Los Angeles Lakers
Hey NBA, do you hear that roar from the back of the pack getting louder and louder? Yup, the Lakers are back!
Sorry, not sorry Clippers fans, but you had your 15-minutes of fame. The purple and gold are back and it’s all because of new head coach Luke Walton. Walton, the youngest coach in the NBA at 36-years old, has a group of youngsters and veterans believing and buying into his system…
Logan, Dave, and Brian record for the first time together in person in Los Angeles to discuss the Lakers thrashing of the Warriors, what the Warriors biggest problems are for the future, and who Brian is most excited about on the Lakers. As always, a deep dive on who will win the NBA’s MVP, and other storylines the trio is most anticipating this season.
Video is available on our Facebook page
Brian and Logan discuss Team USA returning to glory in the 2016 Olympics, but having a little trouble along the way, before jumping into reviewing the offseason of/previewing the upcoming seasons for the Lakers and Warriors. Brian still has doubts about Durant meshing with the Warriors early in the season and Logan harps on the Lakers front office making more panic signings.
With the rumors flying that the Pacers are interested in a total franchise tear down, the vultures are beginning to circle the roster with offers for Indy’s top talent. Frank Vogel has no certainty about his future with the team, and the Pacers greatest asset, Paul George, could bring back a king’s ransom.
The Lakers have been looking to land their next great star for the last 4 offseasons, their only successful transaction being the acquisition of Dwight Howard, but that scenario fell flat on its’ face when Howard opted for Houston. However, the Lakers have kept their nose to the grind and drafted high upside, young assets that have shown promise, and the rest of the league has taken notice. But what would it take to get Paul George to Los Angeles? Lets take a look at some potential trades:
Lakers first round pick (IF slotted 3) and D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Bass, and Lou Williams for Paul George
This is the type of hefty return the Pacers expect to get back for their 26 year old superstar Paul George. George currently has 2 more years on his contract and a $20 million player option at the end of the deal, which he would likely opt out of if his play on the court continues its’ upward trajectory. Bass and Lou Williams are throw ins to help balance the salaries, and would help the Pacers tank next season if they give heavy minutes to both role players. The biggest incentive for the Pacers making this deal is they receive both a solid point guard for the future, and a top 3 pick in the draft, both of which will be on extremely team friendly contracts for the near future. The selection of players available at 3 will likely be Dragan Bender, Buddy Hield, Jamal Murray, and a slew of other high upside prospects that could help them ensure a top 5 pick for the 2017 draft, if that is the direction the Pacers choose to go in. The Lakers have to gut nearly half of their roster and send away their draft pick, but with the acquisition of George, luring free agents would make Mitch Kupchak’s job that much easier.
Lakers first round pick (IF slotted #1 overall), Larry Nance, and Jordan Clarkson for Paul George
Although the ‘Trade Machine’ didn’t send this one through, it’s simply because Clarkson is a Restricted Free Agent, and his salary will obviously be much larger than the $845K he made last season. This deal would require Clarkson to agree to be sent to Indy in a sign and trade deal, which may put a major snag in the process, but if the Pacers agree to pay him his max salary, that could be the trigger to send this trade through. The Lakers can offer Clarkson a four-year contract up to $88.9 million, while other teams can only offer him a max of $57.8 million over four years or $34.1 million over three years. The incentive is built in for Clarkson to sign his deal with the Lakers, even if he winds up playing in Indy. The Pacers receive two nice pieces that are ready for heavy minutes, and get their choice of Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram with the first overall selection in the draft. The Lakers may be paying an exorbitant price, giving up Clarkson AND the number 1 pick, but they receive their desired superstar and don’t have to overpay to keep Clarkson, freeing up a massive amount of salary space to potentially sign another max free agent.
D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Julius Randle for Paul George and C.J. Miles
This trade failed in the ‘Trade Machine’ for the same reasons as above, Clarkson must agree to a max salary sign and trade to Indy, and the salaries balance out. The Lakers would be giving up all three of their high upside prospects, but would be receiving a borderline superstar, and a solid starter to help spread the floor for him. The Lakers also get to keep their draft pick (if indeed they still own it after the draft lottery), but should they lose the pick on lottery night and remain desperate to make this deal, there is a scenario where PG can still start the 2016-17 season as a Laker. The Pacers would land themselves 3 very young players, two of which are cost controlled, and would have Clarkson as the featured player in their offense (on a long term contract).
There is no easy way for this deal to go down without the Lakers giving up a king’s ransom, especially when dealing with the savvy Larry Bird, but if the Lakers are dead set on finally landing that elusive superstar, they must be willing to part with some combination of their high draft pick and their young, upcoming stars. Your move, Indy.
- Villain or hero? A seemingly simple question, but the more you dive into it, the harder it gets. However, I bet that most of you, especially those not from Los Angeles, would answer villain.
If you were ever in the way of this competitor from accomplishing his mission, odds are your dreams were shattered. I can’t imagine having my soul crushed time and time again by this one man, so I’ll give you a second to swallow the pain…….better now? If not, maybe the fact that you’re not alone will lift your spirits.
The worst part of it all? He lived for the rush of being the outlaw, extinguishing the glimmer of hope in his opponent’s eyes over and over. He is of course the greatest Los Angeles Laker of all time, and his name is Kobe “Black Mamba” Bryant.
As you read this, and you’re remembering Lakers games of the last 20 years, is he the hero or villain in your story?
In 2001, he was absolutely the villain and possibly more hated than Ivan Drago in his hometown of Philadelphia, Pa. The Lakers were facing off with the 76ers in the NBA Finals, and Bryant being Bryant, yelled to a heckler in the stands, “I’m going to cut your heart out.”
He was the last of a dying breed that is now sadly extinct. He would sell out his teammates for another ring. Some would argue he already did that with Shaquille O’Neal.
There are no more players who literally see red when they look at their opponents. His desire to win was second to none. In a world where we measure greatness by success, no matter what Kobe Bryant was to you, hero or villain, he should be respected as one of the greatest competitors ever, one of the greatest players ever, and a role model of success.
For the people who bleed purple and gold, who call this man a hero, we take our hats off to him and salute him in the most respectful way possible.
Where were you when he crossed up Portland Trail Blazers’ Scottie Pippen and threw a lob pass to Shaq over Brian Grant and by Rasheed Wallace to complete the 15-point fourth quarter comeback that ultimately lead to their first of three championships? Where were you in 2002 when he helped beat the Sacramento Kings in Game 7 at Arco Arena after suffering from food poisoning the night before at the hands of the hotel’s room service? How about his 81-point game? Or the time he demanded to be traded which forced the front office’s hand to shuffle the roster that ultimately landed them Pau Gasol? What about when he sought revenge against the Boston Celtics in 2010?
There’s truly too much to write about, and about both sides of the spectrum. He was a villain during his sexual assault case and again when he required Dr. Jerry Buss to trade away Shaq. Then, he reemerges as a hero for winning five titles, and giving his blood, sweat, tears, and soul to the Lakers nation.
Loved or hated, you have to give respect where respect is deserved, and Kobe Bryant earned it over his 20 year career. You cannot deny the sacrifice and hard work he put in during games, after games, before games, during the season, the offseason, when the lights were on, and when the lights were off.
He was known for having the most intense workout regimens in the league. His hard work and dedication consistently paid off. He studied the tapes of his predecessors and stole pieces of their game and made them his own. He was a student of the game turned master.
If you still consider him a villain, and are seething while reading this, come away with one thing about Kobe, he is a person who loved the game and did whatever it took to be a champion.
Not many players start their workouts at 4 in the morning. Not many had a complete pre-practice workout before practice. Not many players could literally carry a team on their back night after night.
Let’s be absolutely clear about this, no one played hurt like he did. It didn’t matter if he rolled his ankle to the ground, dislocated fingers, got sick, he still played. If he could walk, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind he was playing. And then there’s the unprecedented walking on his own power and shooting two free throws with a torn left achilles.
He was a warrior. A champion. He was a ruthless son-of-a-bitch on the court if you were not a Laker, and he was that same ruthless teammate if you didn’t have the same mindset or work ethic as he did. He wanted to be the best, and all he wanted from his brothers in arms was to give it their all to succeed. To put it simply, play with a winning attitude.
Did he do everything the right way? No. Could he have handled things differently? Of course. But then again, would they have worked? Besides the Shaq scuffle, which both men have since admitted fault to, Kobe’s method produced five banners. It was the only way he knew how to do it.
I don’t care what side of the fence Kobe falls on for you, villain or hero, if you can’t respect the way he trained, studied, and approached the game, you are simply a hater of greatness, or severely jealous.
After 20 years in the NBA, one MVP, five championships, two Finals MVP, third on the all-time scoring list, and countless other accolades, Kobe Bryant is the greatest player of his generation.
As a Lakers fan, basketball fan, and sports fan, I salute you, Kobe Bryant, in the highest way possible. You’ve thanked this city and your fans for everything they’ve done for you and your family. Well, we first say thank you to your family for giving us you, and then to you for giving us everything you had inside as a competitor.
It was an honor watching you and rooting for you. You are the definition of a champion, and a Laker for life.
After the final night of the regular season in the NBA, Brian and Logan discuss how Kobe dropped 60, his legacy, and if the season finale was the greatest night in regular season history. Other topics include who we would want to build a franchise around, Karl-Anthony Towns or Anthony Davis, the Sam Hinkie resignation letter, and our favorite signature basketball shoes from this past season.
After the worst two season stretch in Lakers history resulting in a total of 37 wins, the Lakers are desperate for an entire franchise overhaul. With a few quality foundation pieces already in place (Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, and Larry Nance Jr.), the Lakers transformation to relevance needs to stem from the top, with the front office. Let’s take a look at all the steps the Lakers must complete this summer to make their way back to playoff contender.
Trade Nick Young
The situation in Los Angeles went from toxic to nuclear when the Nick Young-D’Angelo Russell scandal hit. Without diving into the details, the bottom line is that these two cannot co-exist on the same team anymore. The obvious decision is to dispose of Young and keep Russell. D’Angelo still has tremendous upside and just finished a (slightly) disappointing season where he was still able to display why he was worthy of being picked second overall. Russell is under a team control for at least three more seasons, and while gaining the trust of his teammates may be a struggle, the situation is not unfixable, and the first step is to dump Young. Swaggy P perfectly embodied everything that was wrong with the Lakers over the last two seasons, overhyped, under producing, atrocious on defense, and perfectly ok with the results because of previous decisions made regarding draft picks. If the Lakers can’t find a taker for Nick Young, they need to buy him out before training camp begins to avoid any sort of controversy.
Win the draft lottery, or at least keep their pick.
Everything else on this list the Lakers can actively pursue. The one action the Lakers do not get to decide is whether they keep their draft pick they so beautiful tanked for this season. The Lakers have a 55.8% chance to keep their pick, which is absolutely no guarantee! Lakers management should be terrified that after suffering through the worst season in franchise history, they may not be able to keep their coveted high pick if the lottery balls don’t fall in their favor. Ideally, their 19.9% chance to win the lottery jumps them up a slot and management gets their choice of either Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram, both super prospects and potential franchise changing type players.
Jeanie Buss takes a back seat in basketball operations
Jeanie Buss has assumed the role of Lakers President after the passage of her father, the great Dr. Jerry Buss, as well as being the face of the ownership group for the team. She has the most power in the entire organization but for the greater good of the Lakers franchise, she must remove herself from personnel decisions. This may be the toughest pill to swallow for Jeanie and the Lakers, but what more harm can be done by taking a back seat and letting someone with a vision take full control of basketball operations? Results have been increasingly worse since Jeanie has been running the show. Time to let someone else have final say in the organization.
Fire Byron Scott immediately and Hire Luke Walton
Byron Scott has been an abomination since taking over the Lakers head coaching job. Going into this 2015-16 season, it was believed that at the very least the young guys would get lots of time to figure out the NBA game, this was not the case. Scott has proven himself to be neither a win-now, nor a developmental type of coach, so what is his coaching philosophy? His connections in the league have allowed him to remain employed after disastrous runs in Cleveland and part of his tenure as the Hornets head coach. Even with Kobe no longer on the roster in 2016-17, Scott would manage to continue to run out his low-upside veterans in an effort to win meaningless games in lieu of developing their stars of the future. The answer? Let Scott go and offer Luke Walton a godfather type contract that he simply cannot refuse. Walton is as close to a proven commodity as someone who technically has no wins as an NBA coach. The Lakers need a coach who is on board for a long term rebuild, and the first step is to let the young guys already on the roster learn the game on an NBA floor, regardless of results.
Fire Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak+ hire a real GM
Put the pitchforks down, Lakers fans. Kupchak had proven to be a competent GM under the tutelage of Dr. Jerry Buss. But now, given free range from Jeanie and Jim, Kupchak has shown the flaws in his philosophical approach to winning in the NBA. Kupchak banked too much on the allure of Los Angeles as a market and didn’t invest in the draft and creating a desirable team for free agents to join. The Lakers need to look outside their immediate family for their next GM, someone who fan stare the Buss family in the face, be bold, and be allowed to pursue their vision. I’m not suggesting bringing in Sam Hinkie, but making a massive offer to someone like Bob Myers should be on their list of things to do in the offseason. Other intriguing names include Travis Schlenk, an assistant in the front office in Golden State, Troy Weaver, who has been working under Sam Presti of the Thunder, or Jeff Weltman of the Raptors front office. If the Lakers want to swing the pendulum entirely in the opposite direction they can hire an analytics based GM and pursue Mike Zarren of the Celtics or Gersson Rossas of the Rockets. Both the Rockets and Celtics have found major success using an unconventional formula, and maybe it’s time for the Lakers to admit their previous model for winning is obsolete.
Keep Jordan Clarkson for under the max
Keeping Clarkson for anything less than a max contract may be the least important bullet point on this list, but they need to keep him, no matter the price. Clarkson has shown he was a steal on draft night, and although he is already 23 and close to his ceiling, he has proven to be a quality starter. Bottom line, match any external offer Clarkson receives, consistency is important, especially for developing young talent, and Russell needs his running mate.
Plan A+B for Free Agency
Free agency is where the Lakers like to flex their muscle in terms of pull in the NBA. Of late, the Lakers have epically struck out, but that doesn’t mean they can’t bounce back to vintage form this summer. An ideal offseason would look something like signing DeMar Derozan, Al Horford, and Hassan Whiteside, all for under the max. Derozan has ties to LA and will likely leave Toronto if they don’t make a deep playoff run this postseason, and Horford is as good as gone from Atlanta and can be had for a decent price, but the Lakers may need pay a premium to secure his services. Then there’s the conundrum of Whiteside. Is he worth the max? Probably not. But he is clearly going to sign with whoever offers him the most this summer, he’s been in the league for 4 years and barely made $3 million. Again, the Lakers may need to pay a premium to land him, and he may simply being playing out of his mind in his contract year and regress closer to his averages with long term security, but Whiteside would be a smart risk for the Lakers to gamble on.
Back up plan for free agency: Nicolas Batum, Ryan Anderson, and Joakim Noah. All three are veterans who would bring much needed depth an experience to an otherwise veteran bare roster.
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