Posts Tagged ‘#Lakers’

Now that the Los Angeles Lakers have gotten their blockbuster trade to pair Anthony Davis with LeBron James out of the way, they can move forward and figure out what other stars they’re going to try to bring to L.A. to join them, and there are increasing signs that Kyrie Irving might be a possibility.

Irving and the Lakers have been linked a few times, with reports that Irving has spoken to people about playing for L.A., and other rumors that James is already recruiting him.

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While the Brooklyn Nets still appear to be the favorites for Irving, it may not be safe to rule out the Lakers just yet, especially after Saturday’s trade for Davis, according to David Aldridge of The Athletic (emphasis mine):

If Davis waives his $4.7 million trade kicker, the Lakers will be able to add another star in free agency on a max contract. Whether it’s Kemba Walker, whom the New York Times’ Marc Stein reported as a potential Lakers target, or Kyrie Irving, whom sources have maintained for months wants to play with Davis, someone dynamic will likely be on the ball next season in L.A. (Cap guru Albert Nahmad pointed out Saturday that the Lakers might wait 30 days after the June 20 draft to officially execute the trade so Davis could keep his trade bonus.)

According to Bobby Marks of ESPN, the Lakers will have either $27.8 million in cap space, or $32.5, depending on when they finalize the deal for Davis, and if Davis keeps or waives his $4 million trade kicker. The latter number is only a hair under the max contract that Irving is eligible for, meaning that he might not have to sacrifice much financially to leave the Boston Celtics for L.A., or at least not compared to leaving for any other team, as Boston can still offer him an extra year and more money annually.

The Los Angeles Lakers haven’t put a public timetable on their coaching search — and haven’t said much of anything on-record since Magic Johnson stepped down — but logic would seem to dictate that the team will likely have to decide who will be replacing Luke Walton at the helm by the time the NBA Draft Lottery rolls around on May 14 (when preparations for the 2019 NBA Draft will begin in earnest).

To that end, the Lakers are interviewing several candidates for the position, and according to Broderick Turner of The L.A. Times, Tyronn Lue impressed the team with his level of preparation and desire to take the job if it was offered:

During Lue’s interview session at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo on Wednesday, a lasting impression was left on both parties involved in the discussions, according to the people.

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The Los Angeles Lakers are hardly a stable organization right now. Their president of basketball operations resigned unexpectedly at the end of the season. Their head coach was fired for losing with a roster he openly objected to during its construction. It’s unclear who exactly is running the team right now, but the options appear limited to a former agent that a rival NBA executive described by saying “no one trusts him,” a retired Lakers backup turned coaching nomad viewed as “beyond unpopular,” and, amazingly, that former backup’s wife. This is not a ship many should be eager to board at the moment.

Things are so bad that, apparently, they are struggling to secure a head coach because all of their candidates keep getting told to avoid the team. Jorge Sedano reported on his ESPN podcast Tuesday (as transcribed by Anthony Irwin of Silver Screen and Roll) that a close friend of former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Ty Lue said “‘I told Ty, don’t take the Lakers job. This thing is a mess.’” Ramona Shelburne added a similar nugget on Monty Williams by saying on ESPN 710 with Mason & Ireland that “everyone in the league has told him not to take the job.”

Williams and Lue will ultimately need to make their own decisions on the matter, but the fact that the Lakers are getting bashed from multiple sources to multiple candidates speaks to how miserable their reputation around the NBA is right now. The Lakers are the laughingstock of basketball right now. Forget about luring a top coach away from a playoff team as they may have tried with Doc Rivers. The Lakers can’t even get coaches who are readily available to take over the NBA’s most glamorous job

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The reeling Lakers have lost four of five and are now an extreme long shot to make the NBA playoffs. Is it time to do the once unthinkable and sit LeBron James?

ESPN analyst Jay Williams thinks so. The former college star and NBA player said Monday morning on the network’s “Get Up!” program that the Lakers should “shut down” LeBron James for the final 19 games.

“Magic Johnson needs to shut LeBron James down,” Williams said. “He needs to take it away from LeBron, because LeBron’s pride will want him to play. LeBron is the ultimate competitor, and he will want to compete for an eight [playoff] spot. But if you’re thinking about long-term return on investment for LeBron James, who is 34 years old, you have to be able to compartmentalize that if you’re Magic Johnson, and say, ‘OK, LeBron, sit down, I don’t need you to get injured … sit down, get healthy.'”

The NBA would certainly frown on that, given the league’s recent directive to the Pelicans that they must play disgruntled star Anthony Davis rather than sit him. But might the Lakers take a similar stance with James, and play him extremely limited minutes the rest of the way? Williams said sitting James would allow the team to show off its younger players and boost their trade value. And as far as coach Luke Walton … well, Williams, like many others, expects he’s on the way out.

The Lakers had a pretty devastating weekend. They blew a close game late against the Bucks and then lost another must-win game to the Suns, lowlighted by LeBron inbounding the ball off his own backboard. Luke Walton isn’t all to blame for the Lakers’ collapse — there’s plenty of blame to go around — but it’s increasingly clear a) that the Lakers are unlikely to make the playoffs, and b) Walton will be at least one of the scapegoats. Here are some replacements that make sense (a version of this list originally ran in February).

Jason Kidd

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In odds released by Bovada in February, Kidd was actually the betting favorite to be the Lakers’ head coach on opening day next season. A lot of times these odds can be taken with a grain of salt because they have low betting limits, but Kidd to the Lakers has been a subject of persistent chatter all season. Personally, watching the Bucks improve vastly after replacing Kidd, I think this would be a horrible idea. However, maybe the Lakers do it anyway?

Ty Lue

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When Lue replaced David Blatt in Cleveland, the Cavs won the title later that season. He has familiarity with the LeBron media frenzy, and won’t get bogged down by the media circus perpetually surrounding the Lakers. Lue played for the Lakers in his first three seasons in the NBA, from 1998-2001.

Mark Jackson

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Jackson had a 121-109 record in three years as coach of the Warriors, including 51-31 in his final season.

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LeBron James declaring himself the greatest NBA player of all time has sparked a pretty fierce public debate.

Perhaps that was all part of his plan?

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was asked Thursday what he thought of the Los Angeles Lakers star’s recent remarks about being the GOAT and made an interesting analogy while wondering aloud why James would make those comments with more basketball ahead of him.

“His career’s not over,” Ainge said on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich.” “I’d just like to — why he’s saying that, I don’t know. Maybe he thinks that that sells. Maybe he’s taking the Donald Trump approach and trying to sell himself. I don’t know.”

James made the statement on his new show, “More Than An Athlete,” which airs on ESPN+ and is produced in partnership with his media company, UNINTERRUPTED. So, while LeBron is getting some pretty harsh blowback for his boast, he’s still drumming up awareness for his own business venture

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