Grading Lakers 2015 NBA Draft And Free Agency

"-L-LAKERS-SCOTT"

Given the circumstances, the Lakers had a relatively successful offseason. While they once again failed to lure any star free agents to Southern California, Kupchak and company were able to quickly pivot and bring in players who should help the team get back to respectability.

They also maintained a good deal of their future flexibility, with both Hibbert and Bryant on large expiring contracts and a cap explosion coming. The Lakers will have money to burn next summer, but unfortunately so will most of the league. Kupchak will have his work cut out for him but he has given himself plenty of room to maneuver.

Depending on how things break, this team has the potential to sneak into the eighth playoff spot in the West, but also the downside to end up at the bottom of the standings. However, the real factor that’s going to determine the Lakers success will be the progress made by the young players and the ability of the veterans to lift the team to respectability during what may (or may not) be Kobe Bryant’s swan song.

Rebuilding a team isn’t easy, but Lakers fans should take time to enjoy the process. It’s not going to happen overnight, and there will be more bumps along the way, but the team finally has young talent to really get excited about.

Overall Grade: B

[divide]

We will do well this year.

  1. Overall grade a C, Mitch did a good job after missing out on the big fish. But FO’s selling point aside of vision is why the brand currently finds itself in a mediocre state. Although with a better future outlook down the road.

        1. Say’s a moron who has nothing to add to a conversation? Haven’t changed my stance since 2013 with regards to this FO. It is what it is tho, but everyone will need to show patience for the next couple of years.

        2. You just need to chill out and ride like a fan looking for good things. Roll with it son…

        3. The problem is this FO, they run a $2+ billion dollar business like newbies as opposed to your more so established FO for all the talking they do. Goes for both business & basketball operations. Although IMO they can still turn it around but don’t believe this FO will do so. Thus fans will need to be patient until the newbies gain more experience to show true promise 3-4+ yrs from now.

        4. The FO team has been reacting and not pioneering like Dr. Buss had been. The one constant the current FO live and die by is that the Lakers Brand is king. Everybody will buy in. 3 years of proof that this ain’t so has to make them rethink. Even Apple had to rebrand.

        5. Which will come down the road for the Lakers when changes are by at the FO. But for now it is what it is with this FO, tho a year or two from now = changes couldn’t come any sooner.

      1. Better future outlook, but not what the masses had in mind (short-term outlook) given the past competitiveness hx. Have to be patient with big changes coming in a year or two (FO).

        1. again but did we improve this off season. are we better then 21wins????? if so then we get at least a b.

          a c grade is only for teams that did not improve

        2. No, IMO, a C’s about right. This doesn’t necessarily have to do with who they managed to attain after striking out with the top tier players, but more so the lack of wheeling and dealing to improve the brand’s overall outlook for the coming years.

          As we can see now, the short-term prognosis with relation to contending is out the window, tho long-term (4+ yrs from now) chances look more favorable with the draft picks they managed to attain.

        3. if a team hits a home run its an A.
          if a team gets better its a B.
          a C means a team did not improve/ remained the same.
          a D means got worse.
          an F means got a whole lot worse.

          the lakers improved this offseason with out hitting a home run wich means its a b

        4. Your view.

          An A = landing the main players one has on their sites.
          B= acquiring good players while increasing the team’s depth.
          C= being average, not having/making the necessary changes to improve while settling for left overs.
          D= things went bad while settling for less than mediocre talent.
          F= Tank mode

          Lakers improved, but not enough to make an impact within their conference while missing out (observed as a bottom dweller) in re-signing key contributors like Ed Davis and Ellington from last season (aside of the big fish). If Lakers would’ve re-signed some of last years key contributors THEN I’d go with a B. Couldn’t even manage to do that, thus a C.

  2. depends on definition. Well as in making the playoffs or well as in better than last year. I suspect they fall in between.

    My “well” for the Lakers would be developing the youth while fighting for playoff berth. 35 wins with Randle/Russell/Clarkson getting 28 minutes each is very well.

    1. Hopefully make the playoffs as a 7-th or 8-th seeded and then… got kicked out from the first round from the Warriors, Spurs or the Rockets.
      I wonder, how stupid one can be to hope for a better season with the same FO, coach and the same garbage players.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. 1. we dont have the same players

        2. if we make the playoffs we wont get kicked out they will have to work to beat us

  • If Hibbert can regain his form of two seasons ago he can be our starting center for the next 6-7 years. All he needs to do is defend. Scoring is icing on the cake.

    1. If Lin and Ed Davis can connect for easy buckets I’m sure Russell and hibbert can do the same since they both play at a much higher level than ed and Lin, but don’t tell Lin fans they’ll tell you “Lin went to Harvard”…….. I know I know “this article isn’t even about Lin”

    2. Hibbert still had his defensive form last year. He was still top 5. He wasn’t utilized very well last year and ultimately benched. I think everyone is paying too much attention to Hibbert and last year and too little attention to the makeup of the team, the coach, the style they wanted to play and the emphasis on making Hibbert look like a burden instead of a luxury. The team wanted to get away from the style where Hibbert was best suited. It didn’t fit Hibbert and Hibbert didn’t fit them.

      1. They did to HIBBERT as the LAKERS did to PAU GASOL, they took the fight out of them with their treatment, but then PAU goes to the BULLS and look what he did one of his best seasons in years, I believe we will see the same thing with HIBBERT. He also has something to show the haters.

        1. The front office did not mistreat Pau at all. They traded him for Chris Paul, but after that, they refused every single trade offer for him. They told Pau with every trade rumor that he was more valuable to the team than anything any team could offer them. Then they offered him much more than market value to stay and help the team power through the rebuild. He just needed a change of scenery because the fans and media mistreated him for two years.

  • i’m cautiously optimistic about the lakers’ future. and this was one very well written article. they really covered all the bases.

  • looking back, the only i wish would of happen would of been getting Lance Stephenson, if we were going to keep Nick Young. He could def play SF position. other then that. this is wat we have.. and im all in for it.. Hope for a better season this year..

    1. Stephenson is a nutcase. He played for Michael Jordan in Charlotte and showed no heart. He posted the worst 3-point percentage of all-time last season. He turned Charlotte from a playoff team to a lottery team. Hopefully he can do the same to the Clippers.

      1. and Hibbert not a nutcase? or Metta or Barnes for that matter. Nut case or not, he would of played Guard or Fwrd. it would of been great to have his defense for those other great players. but like i said, i will roll with what we have. JC and Kobe together will be nice to watch along with Hibbert and JR downlow

        1. Still the Clippers are taking a gamble with him. If he plays like last year then it would be a mistake bringing him in. But Williams, Bass, and Hibbert are major upgrades over Ellington, Boozer, and Hill and if we can stay healthy we just might be in the conversation for the 8th seed.

          1. i agree, even tho i have no complaints with Wayne. its a major upgrade. and you are right Clippers are taking a big gamble hoping to get the Lance of Indie and not Char. But aren’t we doing the same thing? with Hibbert. hoping to have the Hibbert few years ago and not the one from last year. just saying Lakers really did not answer the SF position at all. idk if they like Kobe and Young there, or they are waiting to try to throw in all the marbles for K.durant either way, we stuck with what we have. Its a better squad then previous years, but will they be effective or just like them.. time will tell

          2. Hibbert didn’t necessarily have a bad year last year, he was still a top 5 defensive center. Hibbert didn’t fit the Pacers needs and the Pacers didn’t have a proper use for him. The problem was just as much the coach, the system and injuries and not much him. Hibbert gets a bad shake for it.

        2. I wouldn’t call Hibbert a nutcase. He’s not doing stupid random stuff on the floor or blowing in LeBron’s ear. Hibbert is generally a solid guy and a guy who does what he’s asked. Any drama with him and the Pacers has more to do with his coach and not wanting to play with a big center such as he, relegating him to the back of the bench. There isn’t much issue there. He’s not a mercurial guy.

  • 2015 -16 West Standings ( Prediction )

    1.San Antonio Spurs
    2.Los Angeles Clippers
    3.Golden State Warriors
    4.Houston Rockets
    5.Memphis Grizzles
    6.Oklahoma City Thunder
    7.Los Angeles Lakers
    8.Sacramento Kings

    East Conference Standings

    1.Cleveland Cavaliers
    2.Chicago Bulls
    3.Miami Heat
    4.Toronto Raptors
    5.Washington Wizards
    6.Atlanta Hawks
    7.Boston Celtics
    8.Indiana Pacers

        1. New Orleans didn’t upgrade at all during the draft or free agency. And a lot of things went right last year…..like OKC having a bad year…

          1. if you were following them last season you would have known that, that is far from the truth since they had many injuries throughout the season including Anthony Davis. Many things went wrong for them. Injuries included last year they were just better than OKC. That’s all there is to it, If Durant was healthy obviously that would not be the case. But give them credit where due, they have the highest chance of being in the bottom half of the playOff teams in the West.

        2. New Orleans will get more wins than the lakers. Anthony Davis will arguably be the best player in the next 3 years. They made the playoffs last year, at best LA is 10 wins better than last year, which is below New Orleans

          1. They made the playoffs last year because they beat out an injured OKC team with an AD buzzer beater. Besides Anthony Davis the pels are overrated and didn’t deserve to be in the playoffs. They were up 20 against the warriors and still managed to find a way to lose. They won’t be better than the lakers imo

          2. They made the playoffs because they had 45 wins like an injured okc and rights to the tie breaker. which is more than double what the lakers had. Not just because of a “buzzer beater”. Numbers dont lie. Anthony Davis is better than any 2-3 players on the current lakers roster put together. That’s how good he is. If new Orleans were to trade him to the lakers you would see how many assets the lakers would lose just to get him. In the west this lakers roster ceiling is about 35 wins if they ball like crazy. Stop drinking the kobe legend cool aid, he himself said he is too old to carry a team like before. This team looks almost like the timber wolves. Depending on rookies and a passed his prime legend who realistically would be coming of the bench for a legit contender.

          3. if healthy the lakers win 35 games last season and thats not counting randle or nash.

          4. sigh… I just need to know. Where does this fake sense of security the Lakers will make the playOffs comes from? Is it because of Kobe? If Kobe was not on this roster would you feel so confident they make the playOffs? Kobe, 37 years old Shooting guard who can’t run or jump like before (part of the reason he can’t defend like he used to). Limited to about 30 minutes a night to get a good game out of him, Kobe who can’t play back to backs at this point in this career, more injury prone at this age obviously. Or is it the rookies? 2 who have not played a real NBA game (summer league is not the where the big boys play, OK 1 played less than 15 minutes last season before breaking his leg(Randal)). 1 who played half a NBA season and shows great promise (Clarkson). Typically Rookies need at least 3 seasons to really impact the game if they ever do, unless they are special like Lebron James. Are you telling me these rookies are special like Lebron James? The West is a brutal conference with the biggest star players every night. You are telling me the sum of these parts will make the playOffs in the west without some freak virus passing over the entire western conference? Please answer the Kobe question asked first. =-)

          5. having kobe helps and yes it makes us a lot better then we would be with out him.

            the young guys will help to but no im not looking at any of the young guys as why we make it.

            the west is not stacked anymore. out side of the top 6 in lac, gsw, sas,mem,okc, and hou the playoffs are wide open.the teams trying to make the last two spots are nor, lal, dal, pho, sac, and jazz (den, miny,port are not making the playoffs). the lakers only have to be better then 4 out of these 6 to make the playoffs and they all have major issues.

            jazz) no offese, good but overrated defese, no exum who is by far their best pg, still about 2 years away from the playoffs. 28-32wins

            pho) no bench, morris want out, no defense, poor offense, the only reason i did not put them with the bottom 3 in not making the playoffs is because people seam to believe they are good 20-30 wins(chandler might be traded at deadline)

            dal) worst defensive team in the nba, no bench, cant really score either. again this is a team that i would have as a for shur out but they have dirk so there is allways a chance. 25-35 wins

            sac) i cant really say much about this team way way way to many new parts the only legit knock i have on them is defense and cuz/coach not liking each other. hard to place this team could 30 wins could be 50 wins.

            nor) this team is really hard to place too. their offense is average but because of davis is explosive. their defense is also around league average but again because of davis is also explosive. their main issues are depth, injurys, and the lack of another go to player. i would say 39-49 wins.

            lal) defense(but its much improved), health. im not being a homer those are our only to weaknesses this season if this team stays healthy we are an elite offensive that plays average defense. the lakers are in the same boat as the kings 30-50 wins

            ok i have gone over the 6 teams with a punchers chance at the 7th and 8th seed. of those 6 teams i would pull the jazz and pho out leaving dal, lal, sac, and nor to fight for it. i like the lakers chances vs dal which would leave three teams for two spots. i honestly believe if healthy the lakers and kings make the playoffs next season.

            west standings
            1.lac
            2.gsw
            3.hou
            4.okc
            5. sas
            6.mem
            7.lal
            8.sac/nor

            1)with kobe and young last season the lakers offense was ranked 6th in the nba. that rating dropped to 25thc with out kobe and young. now lets add a healthy kobe randle williams, clarkson, young, and russ. we should with out question be a top 5 offense next season if healthy.

            2) by just adding hibbert our team defense should rise up about 10 places. adding bass williams and our young players should also improve our defense. that would put us in the 20-15 rage defensively.

            so in total we very well could be a top 5 offense and around 15 defense. thats a playoff team in the west

          6. “Lakers an elite offense… ” – really? Sigh.. I give up.. the season will speak for it self.. once again. I had the same argument last year and heard the same. The real difference is this year there are a lot more rookies in the starting line up.

          7. see its people like you that give us lakers fans a bad name.

            the lakers were ranked in the top 6 offensively last season for a wile because of kobe and young. now add williams to that. how can you honestly say if healthy thats not an elite offensive team??????

          8. The Laker’s wish they were only “one injury away” from not making the playOffs. Anthony Davis was injured many times last season and they still made the playOffs. If he played the entire season they would have been no need for a tie breaker with OKC and would have been a right in there. Their roster didnt improve or get worse this off Season but Anthony is growing and getting better. He SHOULD be better this year than last year.

          9. Not saying that AD isn’t awesome, because I agree that he is one of the best players in the league. Just saying that if he goes out for an extended period of time there is not one else in NO to carry that team. The Lakers have had bad luck with injuries on top of a mediocre roster the past couple seasons. If they can stay healthy while other teams they will be battling with for that last playoff spot have any kind of injury bug that they have had (see Utah, who is already off to a rough start), they have a decent chance to sneak into the playoffs. I’m not saying the Lakers would be a threat with all the youth on their roster, just saying that injuries can easily change the whole playoff picture.

          10. not true. they have done nothing to upgrade their roster and if okc would have been healthy they would not have made the playoffs.

            hell if the suns did not blow them selfs up they would have made the 9th seed over the pelicans

          11. What is not true? That new Orleans is better than the lakers right now and was last year? I swear… delusional laker fans…. Lakers finished with a 21 wins. New Orleans with injuries during the season to both Anthony Davis and other key members finished with 45 wins. And laker fans still want to say their team is better than new Orleans… you wouldn’t even give them credit for being better than okc that year. Injuries is part of the game. We know if okc was full strength they are better but they werent. New Orleans had a better more successful season. That’s all there is too it. And barring injuries they will be in the playoffs again and the lakers wouldn’t. Maybe next year lakers.

          12. many teams in the west have gotten better wile the pelicans are worse they wont look nearl as good

        3. The lakers will be playing 3 rookies major minutes next season. In the west! That’s a lot of mistakes and learning. Last season we saw that for Kobe to play well (which is not even close to kobe in his prime) he had to be restricted to about 30 minutes a night. And could not play back to backs. His body was tired as ever when ever he did more and he became more of a liability. At least dallas and portland have a legit star player that can play 45 plus minutes a night without breaking down. And they have vets like the lakers. Rookies don’t have such an impact to change the game until their 3rd season. Unless that rookies name is LeBron James.

      1. I think the only team that you named that have a legatimate shot are the New Orleans Pelicans but they really have no good supporting cast around Anthony Davis at all. The pelicans really didn’t do anything in free agency that made them a much better team. I think the Portland trailblazers will fall due to losing Lamarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews and Batum who were vital pieces to their Puzzle and i don’t think adding Ed Davis will make them a threat in the WCF i think losing Aldridge most importantly put them below the pack. Dallas have a good team but i think they lack a true rim protector with not getting Deandre and losing Tyson Chandler so i think their defense will be similar to the Lakers last year but i think will definitely compete next year and i wouldn’t be surprise if they snatch an 8th spot or be infront of the Lakers at 7.

        1. ok i agree with that. i still see Pelicans making it, even with the same cast and what about the Suns? Dallas, Jazz, and Portland i can see below us.. but we have no answer for A.Davis and he’s still not at his peak. Suns have a nice squad depending on if Eric can stay healthy a full season or not. i hope the Lakers can gel enough to make atleast the 8 seed

          1. A lot went right for the Pelicans last year. And they have nothing to trade, and didn’t upgrade. To me they are the Cinderella du jour and no different than the one surprise team in the playoffs that we see every year.

            And this year, why can’t it be the Lakers?

          2. Totally agree and to be honest the Pelicans got lucky last year stealing that spot at 8 because Durant and the Thunder wasn’t healthy and then they got swept by the Warriors in the first round. Most of the teams that i put up on the list got better in the draft and free agency to make them a better team but the Pelicans didn’t not saying they can’t steal an 8th spot but i just don’t think they will beat out the Kings or Lakers.

          3. I don’t think Russell will out play Holiday. I don’t see anyone guarding Davis (he will put up 28-34 per game). I think Kobe and Evans will be interesting and close. Hibbert and Asik are a wash at this point. Gordon and Anderson can hit the 3 pointer.

          4. Actually I think the Pelicans can beat out the Kings. On paper, the Kings have a nice team, I’ll admit. That’s on paper. Lets skip to reality. George Karl and Cousins. Issues. Rondo is a problem in and of himself. There are pieces and things that just don’t fit or look to fit right. I honestly don’t think Karl is going to make that team work and I see the team struggling and Karl being fired mid-season when he tries to push ownership and Divac to offload Cousins again..

          5. Holiday missed 40 games and Anderson/Gordon missed 20 each last year (still made the playoffs). Still got Tyreke Evans coming back. A rim protector in Asik. Anthony Davis will make a push for MVP.

        2. my $.02:
          I have a hunch that around Mid-season Dallas goes into tank mode. With Williams, and the upcoming cap jump they are in a good position for the future, but this season might not be worth the fight. — A top 10 pick might be best.

          Portland is going to be garbage and try for a lottery pick, and speed up their rebuild.

          1. Disagree, Blazers have made some of the biggest acquisitions pickups this off season (Ed Davis, Mason Plumlee, Al Farouq, Noah Vonleh = good trading assets). Thus they’re likely looking to trade for a more proven player come trade deadline time as opposed to tank.

      2. Definitely not Dallas or Portland. DeAndre single-handedly destroyed the Mavs’ chances this season, and Portland cannot overcome the losses of Matthews and LaMarcus.

    1. I would put OKC higher on the list. If Durant and Westbrook stay healthy then they’re a top 4 team. Their bench is loaded with prolific scorers like Augustin, Morrow, and Waiters.

      1. Interesting pre-saga….
        If Durant and Westbrook, are nothing better than a #4 team, and the team is capped out, does Durant want to stay?

        Personally, I think the empire that the Lakers can offer Durant is too much to pass on. And as long as they have a good team, we’re one of the favorites.

          1. Think of this:
            The Lebron Super Team is going to give Durant something serious to think about…. Does he want to spend the next 5 years coming up #2 to Lebron? AND make less money in the process? Doesn’t he want to be known as the best player in the world and win championships too? — To me, the Washington thing doesn’t make sense as he won’t make the most $ and all roads to a Championship run through Cleveland until BOTH retire.

            Also,
            Money still wins….
            Beyond the $25M the lakers can offer, they can offer the biggest amount of endorsements. You have to think that Nike wants Durant in LA to assume Kobe’s throne and help seize the China market (and that he has a bonus if he goes to LA). You have to think that the Lakers will bring another $10-15M to the table in yearly endorsements from TV sponsors and ads. So while most just look at the $25M I look at the extra $10-15M he can make by being in LA (ABOVE what he already makes today). And over 4 years, that’s $50-60M PLUS the guaranteed $100M the Lakers will pay.

            Then,
            Add Randle, Clarkson, Russell, Hibbert, Nance and Brown….and Kobe somewhere in the mix. This team with Duran is legitimately championship caliber for at least 5 more years.

            Unlike with Melo and Aldridge and hope to start a rebuild, the team is is a VERY good position to offer one of the best deals next year. And I think this is part of Jimmy’s plan and his “3 year vision. Getting Russell and Hibbert made this turn from a hope into a reality.

            I’m just saying that outside of emotions and personal feelings, the FINANCE and future potential side of an upcoming Lakers deal makes a lot of sense.

          2. Good points. I think if the Thunder fail to make it out of the first round Durant will seriously consider leaving. He has a ton of respect for Kobe and if Kobe decides he has at least another year or two left in him Durant may want to come.

        1. I don’t doubt our chances of snagging Durant at all. For me, the question has always been, would Westbrook want to come here season after? Do we want him? And could we get him? (that’s like three questions but still…)

          1. If we have Russell, do we need Westbrook?

            And, if Durant does leave, then either Westbrok agrees to sign early, or OKC trades him for future assets. They can’t let BOTH Durant and Westbrook leave for nothing.

          2. No, we don’t need Westbrook (especially if the plan is for Russell and Clarkson to be our starting backcourt/future for the next decade as it’s been said and having Westbrook would put a serious cramp on that as he’d eat up minutes that should be going to Russell).

            That said, if we do get Durant next summer, that is going to be a question that’s going to be asked (probably ad naseum) until Westbrook is signed long term to a team, be it OKC or other.

            Now, if you have the choice, just for devil’s advocate not saying I want this:

            Would you let go of Russell (and whomever else not named Hibbert, Randle, Clarkson) if it meant getting Westbrook? Me, I like Westbrook but he’s too eratic so I’d rather bank on D’Angelo fulfilling his potential.

      1. damn i forgot about Minny .. Damn smh too many in the west. Utah depends on how severse Dante Exum hurt himself. It dont look good. but i havent heard anything on it today. Suns wil be our only comp. i think we can handle Sac. Minny is scary.. Wiggins and Lavine on the wings, and with Towns and Garnet inside.. i think they might make it in. i just hope we get in one way or the other

        1. and minny has Kevin Martin coming back (pekovic, dieng, Shabazz, Rubio). I think SAC is too talented for us. Utah played really well at the end of the season and exum wasn’t a big impact player. They also picked up Lyles.

          1. I still think you’re putting wayy too much stock in SAC. SAC has a lot of talent, on paper. But look at the players, look at the makeup, the drama, the chemistry issues that’s going to come, all of it. That team isn’t going to work. Utah losing Exum who is the motor of that team, who makes that team work. There was an article from BDL. Do a yahoo search for Ball Don’t Lie Exum and you’ll see the article. Burke isn’t the answer for that team that makes the starting unit go. Minnesota has some talent for sure, but the makeup of the team has problems, particularly as I’ve said before with Rubio and Bennett. Those guys don’t fit. Garnett isn’t what he once was on offense or defense and is going to take minutes from Pek and Towns.

          1. Wow you’re glass is always so half empty. We dont need these types of negativity, NO TANK YOU!

          2. UTAH, I’ll bet you we sweep Utah this year, they won’t win ONE of the four times we play. And you have them above us, you need a check up from the neck up.

    2. That’s great because we will have the KLAPPERS on the first round.. Then they will CHOKE again.

      1. I have been waiting for another Hallway Series for nearly a decade.

        And in my rankings….
        the Clippers are #1, and the Spurs are #2.

        1. I think we have waited long enough to start playing again with a little pride instead of not wanting to win just for a first round pick. That’s not the real LAKERS thinking, we are here to win.

    3. smh… if lakers get the 7th seed, then Byron Scott deserves every single coach of the year award there has ever been.

    4. New Orleans has a much better chance of getting in than the lakers. In fact they will get more wins than the lakers. Their record last year speaks for itself. They had some games last year that this lakers team ceiling will never match.

      1. REALLY, all they have is Anthony Davis, Bleacher Report, ESPN and others said as much. Davis is a beast, but he can’t do it alone.

    5. The East is probably a set in stone with your prediction. Cleveland will definitely have a pass to the finals as long as Lebron is there making all the FO decisions. Chicago and Miami could very well be team 2a and 2b, and the rest doesnt matter.

      As for the West, thats pretty bold to already predict the Spurs and Clippers to be ahead of the Warriors and Rockets. I could see the Spurs being 2nd or 3rd even with the addition of LA. I bet he’s gonna see a bulk of the minutes and allow Duncan to play like less than 20 minutes a game and sit out probably around 30 games. They always seem to go under the radar and dont care about seeding. As for the Clippers, they’ll always care about the regular season and make people believe they are a threat. And if the Lakers do make the playoffs, I would want to see them match up with the Spurs. It would be a great test to see our young guys match up (Russel vs. Parker, Ginobli/ Green vs. Clarkson, Randle vs. LA)

    6. The Clippers are always projected to tear things up, until they implode again, besides putting them at #2 is meaningless because they will go down in the 1st or 2nd round again anyway.

  • If I hear about “A great locker room guy” again, I am going to scream.
    If a guy is a stiff, he’s a stiff. Dump/waive Suckrae and get Upshaw into the line-up.

    1. WHY CAN’T YOU GUYS UNDERSTAND THAT UPSHAW IS NOT READY TO EVEN PLAY IN THE DLEAGUE!!!!!!!! if he was don’t you think he would be on the roster already?? Not to mention he went undrafted, let’s stop thinking we know more then the front office

      1. My Main point is to dump the locker room guy.
        but, Upshaw has upside, Suckrae has none.

        Upshaw did fine in the summer league, So you assertion that he he cannot play in the D-league is a bit of a exaggeration.
        Think of him as a drafting a kid out of high school.

      2. I have been saying that there is probably a gentlemen’s agreement that if Upshaw can make it through the summer without any incident and shows up in shape to camp, than the lakers will give Upshaw a contract similar to the one that Anthony Brown gets. He will not get money before then.

      3. My Main point is to dump the locker room guy.
        but, Upshaw has upside, Suckrae has none.

        Upshaw did fine in the summer league, So you assertion that he he cannot play in the D-league is a bit of a exaggeration.
        Think of him as a drafting a kid out of high school..

      4. The thing is… Sacre is not going to get significantly better…

        Upshaw was a projected 1st round talent had he kept his head straight…

      5. While Upshaw may not be ready, you dump Sacre, you develop Upshaw, eventually put him in the DLeague and probably by mid season, he’s ready for limited minutes off the bench on the main roster. Even if he doesn’t play for the team this season, you’ve prepped and primed him to continue taking on his contract next season if he shows great progress. The deal he’s yet to be able to sign is supposed to be multi year.

      6. Correction, SACRE is not ready for the D league, Upshaw just needs two months of conditioning and six months of experience in the d league and he will be ready to back up Hibbert, and could possibly be an even better defender than Hibbert AND better offensively.

        Besides, Sacre was drafted 60th, so lets just say Upshaw was drafted 61st, not much difference there.

        1. And did the AUTHOR spend time in the LOCKER room very offen, I really don’t think so, most of these AUTHORS get it from the LAKERS fans , if that’s what you can call them (FANS ).

          1. Al, I don’t care if he did or didn’t spend time in the locker room. Games are won on the court by players who can play the game. The locker room is over-rated.

  • Grade for the offseason A-. Picked up a defensive big, versatile veteran in Bass, sixth-man of the year, potentially the PG of the future. People who thought we were getting unrealistic players will give a lower grade. The only knock I give is our late first round pick (better players were on the board).

      1. lol i feel sorry for Hornets fans and what we had to deal with all last season it was frustrating after a lost every Lin fan clogging up the site with Lin anger.

        1. I’ve never seen anything like it before in the NBA, I don’t even think Jordan as the best player of all time(Imo) had delusional fans worshipping him

          1. closes thing i can think of is Tim Tebow fans .. and now Ronda rousey fans but they are not nearly as bad ass Lin fans

    1. Lol IKR,

      the front did a great Job with our pick ups though, i think only bad grade other then Sacre that they get an E for is keeping Jim Buss as Head of Basketball operations i do think we are a much better team but I think Jim should just be a guy giving ideas and Mitch runs everything.
      With Kobe still able to play at a high level with reduced minutes is great because you know Nick Young can score the ball and if he gets hot its no stopping him and with Lou Williams add on their will be a competition going on between the two and they both can score. Also we seen how great Clarkson is and we know he can score and attack so i think we did good but i think Jim should be out the picture.
      But also i do wonder how good we could have been if we drafted Okafor
      and made similar moves in free agency.

      PG – Rajon Rondo /
      SG – Jordan Clarkson / Lou Williams
      SF – Kobe Bryant / Nick Young / Jabari Brown
      PF – Julius Randle / Brandon Bass / Larry Nance / Ryan Kelly
      C – Jahlil Okafor / Tarick Black / Robert Sacre

      1. I wanted Okafor more than Russell. BUT I think that PF/C defense would be rough. Rondo would be a rental anyway.

        1. i wanted Oak bad.. jus imagine if he was here with Hibbert.. wow too much middle yes, but HIbbert has that mid range.. it would of been wonderful.. but im happy with Russ Lakers have to know how to use him.. i think he’s a true SG not PG

          1. Do you think Lakers FO had a secret lock on Hibbert during the draft and maybe thats why they went with Russell? I always wonder about that.

      2. Re the Jim Buss grade, that would be an I for Incomplete. In the old days, E was the same grade as A is now, and it stood for Excellent.

      3. I agree Mitch should lead and Jim should consult. They have a great eye for finding hidden talent (Clarkson, bynum). However, these two have so far sucked b.l.s on closing a deal with established stars especially in the new NBA environment where many more teams can offer a load of money. Realize your strengths and cover your weaknesses or humble yourself by bringing in people like Magic to speak with star veterans to close the deal.

        1. i understand Mitch gets the credit but West son found Clarkson. have to give him some credit.. he’s a good scout. happy he’s on the team. i mean he’s a West

        2. The Lakers have only brought in one BIG name star as a free agent, Shaq. So we will not reestablish our contending ways without building our assets up with trades, drafting well, and developing with through the Defenders.

      4. With Hindsight,
        I think Mitch made the right decision. I was an Okafor guy, but now things have settled, things are much brighter with Russell than Okafor.

        1. If we weren’t able to acquire Hibbert, I would not be able to agree with you, but since his acquisition im very good with our current status!

      5. With Rondo I could give you a prediction now. The team would have struggled and tanked. I’m sorry but everyone needs to get off the Rondo train. The achilles injury has taken away whatever athleticism he had that made him an elite defensive player and the guys inability to make good plays consistently, play consistent defense and his lack of shot are simply killing him. Unless he develops a dependable jump shot he’s not worth the ink on the paper anymore.

        Also, under SF it’s Anthony Brown not Jabari Brown and Jabari Brown is a SG not SF.

      6. If that’s the case….

        Pg: Clarkson/Lou
        SG: Jabari/Ellington
        SF: KOBE/Swaggy/a.Brown
        PF: Randle/Bass/Nance
        C: Okafor/Black/Upshaw

        Somehow find a way to move Kelly and not pick up Sacre… And hopefully find another Pg out there

  • What do you guys think is the key to a good season and making the playoffs? As for me, well assuming Kobe can make it through the entire season I think Randle putting up above average numbers is the key, I hope he can show signs of superstar potential.

    1. For a good season:
      1. Healthy Young Guys
      2. Developing Young Guys
      3. Hibbert finding a role and enjoying being a Laker
      This would be a great season. Don’t need the playoffs. Want it but don’t need it.

      1. Yea man maybe injuries might be the key, I think the biggest factors in the last 2 seasons were definitely injuries if it wasn’t for that maybe it be a different story

        1. I’m more concerned with Injuries to Randle, Clarkson, or Russell. If Kobe gets hurt it’s not as big.

    2. for all the rookies to catch on FAST! Hibbert to be dominate in the middle Blockin/Changing shots, and rebounding. Kobe staying Healthy. Young playing the SF position. Ryan Kelly improving. and Sacre to be a Rebounding machine.. lol i kno i kno but hey he’s on the roster he has to contribute

    3. My hope is they concentrate on developing the kids, not on making the playoffs. If we miss the payoffs, there is the outside chance we draft top 3 pick to keep our 2016 pick.

    4. Making the playoffs would be great but not necessary. If D Russ can start strong out of the gate, everyone stays healthy, and our bench produces every night we can win at least 15 more games than last season.

  • Welcome Trevor!

    Sacre – Your post seems a little bit of rear view mirror. At the time Mitch had to decide on Sacre, July 30, Upshaw was only signed for Summer League, had not played yet, and there was no way of knowing what would happen. Further, Upshaw still isn’t signed. Therefore, Sacre is what he is, a cheap 3rd string 7′ big body center. Yes, he takes up a roster spot, but at the 5, and is not the reason for the so called unbalanced roster. And Black is really a PF who can play Center, and isn’t a rim protector. The unbalanced roster has to do with there being five Power Forwards including Black, six guards, and one SF, which with Sacre leaves only 2 true Centers. The Sacre option choice deserves more than a D-.

    Brandon Bass – those anxious fans you refer to should by now know the Lakers youth movement is in full swing, and it should be the writers duty to remind them of the time when the Showtime youth movement happen, the Lakers brought in veterans like Bass to mentor the kids. The Bass signing, as you noted, is all about that, not placating the anxious fans, so maybe a solid B instead of a B-?

    Roy Hibbert trade – Well done. The only thing I saw was when you said “and the cap space required to absorb the nearly $16 million” you could have added that the Lakers are required to spend at least 90% of the cap and therefore the signing helped in that way as well.

    As an editor, I did not see anything that stood out, and thank god you didn’t write that ignorant “to try and”.

    Overall grade for your first article B+.

  • Decent grading even though I feel the grades were a little harsh on Nance and Sacre. I’d give Nance a B+ because he appears to have natural basketball instincts and and already knows he’s there to fulfill a role. His shooting will get better with more reps as a pro. As for Sacre, I’m not a fan but I’d grade that decision as a C.

  • It’s sad that this writer spent so much time and energy writing…. And because of the excessive length, no one besides me read it. And, actually, it’s a good write-up, just a bit long.

    I’ll summarize it for y’all and save 20 minutes of your time:

    Draft:
    Russell:A-; Nance: C+; Brown: B+

    Team Options:
    Jordan Hill (Declined): A; Sacre: D-

    Free Agency:
    Bass: B-; Williams: B+

    Trades:
    Hibbert: A-

    OVERALL:
    Grade: B

    Useful words from the writer:

    “Given the circumstances, the Lakers had a relatively successful
    offseason. While they once again failed to lure any star free agents to
    Southern California, Kupchak and company were able to quickly pivot and
    bring in players who should help the team get back to respectability.

    Rebuilding a team isn’t easy, but Lakers fans should take time to
    enjoy the process. It’s not going to happen overnight, and there will be
    more bumps along the way, but the team finally has young talent to
    really get excited about.”

  • Agree, article too long but informative. Good forum today – insightful comments, fans not hating on each other & trolls surprising silent. Hey, let’s stop beating up on Sacre – he’s on the team. support him & maybe he’ll surprise us.

  • Nice article. I think the team deserves a C/C+ for the offseason. They struck out early but atleast recovered nicely. But lets not kid ourselves. This team is a bottom 2 team in the West, and a bottom 5 team overall, and thats okay as long as the kids continue to develop. We will certainly be a lot better the second half of the season than the first half.

    1. Agreed, we have Randle, Clarkson, Russell, Anthony Brown, Terik Black, Larry Nance Jr., Jabari Brown and possibly Robert Upshaw all under development at the same time. Some of those guys are going to be hits, and be studs, and some are going to be misses, and disappoint, but by the end of this year, were going to have a few players to build around.

  • honestly, Lakers never had a chance at signing DJ, also defensively speaking, Hibbert is a much better player than LA or Love. Monroe/ Randle probably would not work .The Lakers needed to improve defense and Mitch did just that; last year the team didn’t have any problem scoring. I’ll give a C+/B-.

  • Wasn’t it better that we added hibbert, Lou and bass as oppose to Aldridge? Randle has potential to be better than Aldridge the only advantage Aldridge has over Randle imo is his wingspan

    1. I get the optimism, but cmon, Aldridge is a proven superstar. Also we would have been able to get one of lou or bass..

        1. We woulda had room for Lou if lakers wanted that to happen.. But that’s in the past! I’m ready and looking forward to these kids to continue their development

      1. Aldridge is a superstar now, but this team doesn’t have the makeup for a now guy. This team has the makeup for a future guy.

    2. wingspan, height, shooting stroke and offensive rebounding Aldridge is better now! but Randle can be a great player maybe like Chris Webber

    3. Well HIbbert has to at the very least be a good rim protector for us. He can add value in that way. Any offense he gives us is like he said candy. My problem with Aldridge is his age vs the young core of the Lakers. By the time the young guys hit their prime Aldridge would be starting his decline. So in that respect. Yeah getting Hibbert might have been better for the Lakers.

  • some of you guys are ridiculous lol i get all the optimism but you guys are just prepping yourselves for disappoint when you project lakers being a playoff team. the only thing that should matter this season is the development and chemistry of our kids and hopefully an actual offensive and defensive scheme is implemented by the coaching staff.

    1. Lakers 27 wins
      Hibbert all star add 7+
      Randle 18/10 add 5+
      B. Scott coach/yr 5+
      total 44 wins
      44 wins make 8th seed.

      1. Don’t need Randle to average that for 5+, just need a healthy Kobe to last for a season to add that much. Randle just needs to put up respectable numbers. Hibbert doesn’t need to be an All Star, just be the same top 5 defensive force he’s been. Going to be hard to crack All Star in the West as a big regardless.

  • I thought the Lakers did well. My first thought even before the draft was to build a young core. Now in my mind that core would have started with Okafor. But the Lakers went with Russel instead. While i do believe Russell will be a good maybe even great player some day.

    History tell us ball dominate guards dont win champions. ( C. Paul) The last to do it was Isiah Thomas, Pistons 89 and 90. Taking a ball dominate guard with the second pick is too high in my book. I give the pick a B- which could drop to a C+ if Okafor turns out to be a solid big. The rest of the draft i would give a A-. I think Nance, Brown and Upshaw will be solid players in the NBA. With Upshaw being the most questionable of the three. He was a solid shot blocker in college even though that was a small sample. Due to his trouble off the court. But he went undrafted and even though he was offered a contract. He still has yet to sign it. Too this point he is not costing the Lakers a dime.

    The Lakers did very well in free agency despite the issues with the Aldridge meeting. Lakers didn’t land the big fish,hell they didn’t even land Monroe. But they did get the 6th man of the year in Williams and a solid forward in Bass. Good veterans to help with the growth of the youth. However with the poor showing and embarrassment of the Aldridge meeting. I got to give them a C-. It’s just a bad look for a team who’s climb back to the finals will include. Convincing a Durrant or Westbrook to come play in LA

    Lastly trades, this was very easy to grade and is a no brainer. A++. Hibbert who has taken some steps back in the last few seasons. Will be in a contract year with the Lakers. He got to put up to get paid up. At worst he could be a valuable trade asset at the trade deadline with his expiring contract. At best he could be the defensive rim protector the Lakers have been lacking. Having a bounce back year. If he does play well Under the teachings of Kareem. You sign him to a deal that wont break the bank for two or three years. He’s only 26 he still has some prime years left, If he works hard.

    Overall I give the Lakers a B-

    1. Ball dominant guards don’t win Championships ? Was Nash a ball dominant guard? He never won a ring, how about John Stocton? never won a ring. Magic Johnson? won more than his share, my point is there’s no truth to your statement.

      1. Nash Stockton and C. Paul never won one. Magic is from a different era with hand checking and no flagrant foul. Magic was a 6’9 guard who could post you up and pass out of the post. Not the same thing.

        1. Steph is a bit more selfish that your typical Ball Dominate guard. He has no problem calling his own number. Where Ball dominate guards Like Nash and C. Paul have to be begged to shoot more. Magic was a 6’9 guard who could post up. He won a title playing center as a rookie for god sake. You really cant even call him a true point guard. More like a point forward.

  • First off I’ll give them an A for learning from last year’s mistakes grabbing 2nd tier talent while they were still available after it was clear we weren’t going to sign elite stars to a max contract, the results in terms of wins is secondary ( at the very least they tried).
    I’ll give them an F for drafting a player they believe was a point guard when we could have got a sure thing in Okafor.
    Let’s see what the long list of names Mitch and Jim have tried for a PG and failed:
    Nash, Sessions, Crittenton, Farmar, Vuicic…… etc etc

    1. I wanted Okafor too. I think he will be a solid post player. My problem with Russell is that Ball dominate guards dont win championships. He maybe be our C. Paul. Solid numbers but no ticket to the promise land.

        1. If you can promise that Russell will shoot like Curry then i’ll take that. Curry not the only one who brings up the ball in their offense. I’m talking about a Nash or C. Paul unselfish guys to a fault. Guys who coaches ask them to be more selfish. Curry has no problem shooting when he wants too.

          1. Your right about that. Point Guards that are to passive don’t win. But every point guard did not have JC or Randle next to them. & both of them guys love to bring the ball up.

  • Jordan Hill / Ed Davis / Robert Sacre
    Carlos Boozer / Julius Randle / Ryan Kelly
    Wesley Johnson / Nick Young / Xavier Henry
    Kobe Bryant / Wayne Ellington /Jordan Clarkson
    Steve Nash / Jeremy Lin / Ronnie Price
    7th seed here we come?

    1. So lets break down last seasons roster vs this season

      First off of the three centers listed ONE was a rim protector (Ed Davis) and it showed, Lakers were 2nd to last in allowing points in the paint. Ed also was more of a PF than a center weighing in at 235 lbs.

      At PF, Randle was immediately injured, which left Boozer and Kelly, both disappointed.

      At small forward injuries also took a toll, Henry went down, and Nick Young was injured most of the year ( Hand) leaving the ever inconsistent Wes Johnson as our starter to play long minutes.

      At SG, Kobe went down, And Luckily Clarkson picked up the pace, he was the ONLY bright spot.

      And finally, at PG, Nash was injured after 10 games, leaving the ever inconsistent Jeremy Lin to start and Ronnie price to play back up.

      In retrospect, that was a rebuilding year at best, and everyone knew it.

      This years roster is much deeper, with gobs more talent, Hibbert is a legit rim protector, Sacre and Black can back up, and Upshaw will be there as insurance. Randle is back, Bass and Nance Jr are solid back ups at PF, Kobe will man the 3, Young is a decent B/U, and Anthony Brown will be useful in the 2nd half of the season, after some experience. Clarkson will emerge as a known commodity , and Russell will start to turn heads after some experience as well.

  • I find it amusing that they lament taking Nance Jr. with the 27th pick but see taking Anthony Brown with the 34th pick as lucky. What’s the difference, they are both on the team, would the team be somehow better if they had taken Anthony Brown at #27 and Nance Jr. at #34? I think not. I also think this rating is premature, Mitch isn’t done yet, he usually takes a vacation in August, but when he’s back, he will start looking at who is going to be released and not make another teams 15 man squad. There will be some good players that will fill the remaining holes in our lineup. Specifically a veteran back up point guard and a experienced defensive small forward that can hit the three. Robert Upshaw is also waiting in the wings, and if he impresses at camp, could be signed. If necessary, Kelly, & Sacre could be waived.

  • C…not drafting Okafor big mistake. Not signing a top tier free agent ..lack of leadership. Rebounded with 6 man and a cast off big man. Added rookie pointguards to the team strongest position. Small forward like Winston Justice or Stanely Johnson alongside Okafor,Kobe,Randle ,Clarkson is the way I would have gone out

  • i see Earl Clark will be waived by the Nets, wonder if we can or even if we are interested in picking him up

    1. okafor and randle together would continue the layup line to the rim. the lakers made the right choice. move on.

    2. Rondo would be awful for the team and as vdogg said, Okafor and Randle wouldn’t have been great defensively in the front court. Getting Russell and picking up Hibbert was the right move.

      1. i disagree about Rondo but yes, we couldn’t have Randle and Okafor. personally i would have tried to find a way to move one of them for Porzingis, he’s an active defender. Okafor/zinger would be so awesome. Randle/Zinger would necessitate Zinger be a 5. Down the line possible but not now.

  • Bring back Jerry West now. I don’t care how you do it but do it. Tired of Mitch and Junior.I want Magic .I want Jerry.I want quality people who know what there doing like Shaq..that right, Lisa Leslie..that’s right..One more thing .I want to watch the Lakers on regular as in free TV sometime.

  • Roy Hibbert / Tarik Black / Robert Sacre
    Julius Randle / Brandon Bass / Larry Nance
    Kobe Bryant / Nick Young / Anthony Brown
    Jordan Clarkson / Lou Williams / Jabari Brown
    D’Angelo Russell / Ryan Kelly

  • Overall I give the offseason grade a B-. The draft was good. Not great but good. Russell is a good player. Nance and Brown will take awhile to develop but I see potential role players in them. Free agency we missed on the big fishes. But let’s be honest there was not one player in this FA class who was a team changer. DJ LA or anyone else for that matter as 1 man was going to turn us into a playoff team. The Hibbert trade was by far the most shrewd move of the summer in the league to me. We added Lou and Bass which are solid pickups. Not really upset about not finding a FA SF because most of the SF available were vastly overpaid due to the lack of depth in the FA class. Glad we didn’t throw 15 mil at a Carroll or Harris. Just not worth it to me. I think Mitch deserves some credit for moves he didn’t panic and make.(I,E Robin Lopez at 4/54 yikes) Would have liked to add another good rebounder but hey we did the best we could. But most of this falls on the health of Kobe. I think if healthy we can hoover around the 6-8th seed by trade deadline and then if someone becomes available that can put us over the hump( I,E Phoenix moving Bledsoe or Kings moving Boogie) Mitch will pull the trigger and hopefully we can sneak into the playoffs.

  • High Basketball I.Q. :
    Patient
    Big picture mentality
    Understand that it take time
    Loyalty
    Time management
    Respect leadership

    Low Basketball I.Q.:
    No patience
    What about “NOW” mentality
    No time to develop
    What have you done for me lately
    Build a “paper champion” ASAP
    Know more than ownership/management

    Dumbass Basketball I.Q.:

    Let’s trade scrubs for stars
    Sign broken down free agents
    Forget past championships that’s old
    Should never have down years
    Sell the team
    Fire everybody

    1. I couldn’t agree more. Nothing worse than a person who claims their a fan but only when the champagne is popping. When things get rough they abandon ship and want to trade Kobe.

    2. Makes me glad most of the people here aren’t the Lakers GM. Most of these people can’t even see how the pieces fit together. They see the names on a piece of paper and go “They look like a badass team!”. Example, Sacramento. Paper, great team. Reality, they’re going to struggle badly, chemistry will be awful and Karl will be fired mid season.

      1. it’s not just the fans. paper champions were what the lakers tried to do with Malone/payton/Kobe/Shaq. and Nash/Pau/Kobe/Howard. It failed twice but if the opportunities came up again, I have no doubt they’d do it.

  • Was tough signing anyone great with KB’s contract eating up so much of the cap. You can tell the front office is praying he’ll quit after this year.

    1. Kobe’s contract didn’t make squat of difference, we would have been able to sign any player we wanted, we had tons of cap room, it was the fact that were dead center in the middle of a rebuild, and premier players want to go to a team ready to make a push to win a title.

  • Exum is just the first of many injuries likely to come this season that could affect whether the Lakers can sneak into the playoffs or not. Hopefully the Lakers can stay healthy for the first time in awhile, should be one of the keys to the season, not just for making the playoffs, but for team chemistry and development.

    1. exum of last year didn’t figure to make Jazz any better. His value was defense but his offense was so passive that it hurts them. We don’t really know how much he would have improved to make the Jazz that much more dangerous.

      And also we’re talking about the Lakers here. Sadly, “hopefully we can stay healthy” is myth these past few years.

  • I will never get over having to suffer through watching Jeremy Lin and his fans for the end result of Larry Nance Jr, unless this guy becomes a Rodman, what a waste.

    1. i don’t think they got him to be rodman. It’s the GS blue print.

      shooter Curry -. Russell. check.

      all-purpose Klay -> Clarkson. Check.

      stiff defender Bogut –> Hibbert. check.

      mobile firepower Barnes –> Randle. check
      versatile hustle man Green. –> Nance. Check.

      Kobe and Iggy – geezer cogs. check.

  • Hibbert: 14 9 2
    Randle: 11 6 2
    Bryant: 21 5 4
    Clarkson: 15 4 3
    Russell: 12 5 6

    73 points 29 rebounds 17 assists

  • I didn’t like the Russell pick up because it takes away from Clarkson development a bit nomatter how you slice it, I preferred Okafur but hey they had a more up close and personal meet than us…
    Sacramento not getting credit due they got some ballers and they may or will be dysfunctional or nutty but at the end of the day they will do what ballers do and that is ball so they will be in the mix.

    1. Russell doesn’t wow me outside of a few passes. The PG position is so loaded, you can almost pick up somebody’s #2 in depth and have a quality player. Pre-draft Knicks would certainly have dealt their #4 and Hardaway (= no. 19 pick) for Russell. That deal is clearly off the table.

      Russell was suppose to have immediate impact and make everyone better, but Clarkson doesn’t need Russell. As it is, JC seems to be the guy with that mantra – him attacking the rim and passing will make others better.

      Time will tell, but IMO Porzingis/Grant will have more impact than Russell long term.

  • Mitch did good job by selecting D.Russell over Okafor, but then, he failed to make the right choices with # 27 and # 34. L.Nance and A.Brown are not good prospects for our team.He could do a lot better job with these two pics.
    As of the free agents signing – grade D and I will tell you why.
    Larry Bird was desperately trying everything to get rid of Roy Hibbert and… boom, Mitch sign him.J.Hill was a lot better option by stat numbers and money wise. Again, MK paid big money for someone, who does not deserves even the half of that $ 15.5 mil. Lou Williams as a sixth man of the year is nothing more than W.Ellington. As a matter of fact, Wayne is better 3 point shooter and slightly better defender. Not to mention that instead of $ 7 mil. for Lou, he could sign for $ 3-3.5 mil. Brandon Bass is nothing better than C.Boozer, so don’t get to excited about the upcoming season.Kupchak can not arrange a trade for N.Young, R.Kelly and R.Sacre and most likely will keep all three of them!!!
    All over-all grade for his off-season job so far is D-.
    Now, some hard-head Lakers fans will tell me that is not his fault that no big name FA wants to sign with the team. Yes fellas, it is his fault, not mine or yours.

  • Hard to grade the draft since they are unknowns. But I do like that they took high character guys known to have good basketball IQ’s.

    As for Free Agency, I have to give them an F. Losing Ed Davis when they had a chance to extend him for long term for cheap is a damn crime. I like Lou, but overall it feels like we got worse by losing Davis, Lin, Boozer while only bring back Bass and Williams.

    I do like the Hibbert trade since it is only 1 year, so I would give that part of the off season an A.

      1. Davis had a much higher PER than Lou, Hibbert or Bass. And statistically Boozer is better than Bass is pretty much every area. As for Lin, I hated his fans, but he was a decent player off the bench.

        1. Davis is valuable with his intangibles. but money is the issue. the man deserves to be paid. Davis would make 6 mil playing in the same slot as Hibbert 15 mil. Got hibbert cheap so that was a no brainer. Besides, Byron loves Sacre to get his minutes and there’s no way around that.

          Bass at 3 mil in the same slot as Randle is good insurance.

          1. Davis can play the 4 or the 5. I can think of a lot of lineups where I would like him. Plus Hibbert is a one year rental, we had a chance to lock up Davis for cheap while he is still young. It was a big fail. Even Mitch was upset about it, but they were too busy embarrassing themselves with Aldridge to do the right thing.

          2. can play the 4 but should he? PF remains a position of offense. Davis doesn’t give enough there since he doesn’t have alot of arsenal besides rolling to the basket. Davis said he doesn’t shoot from the outside cuz he’s not good at it. with 4s these days, you can of have to. Davis’ strength is his defense at the 5

            I have a feeling Hibbert will remain a laker after this year- 12/7/2 is where he needs to be considered “back to all-star form”. That’s not hard for him. Russel will find him for the 11 FGA. 7rebs will be effort that he needs to find and 2 blocks will come naturally cuz lakers defenders suck at keeping their men in front of them.

    1. You’re kidding right Lin and boozer.They were useless. We needed to start fresh the draft picks and FA we picked are good!!

    2. You…..Can’t……Be……Serious.
      Davis was expendable. Other than weakside help and pick N rolls that’s all he provided. Lin wanted to revise linsanity with run and gun offense, which wasn’t the style Byron utilized. Boozer was a falling allstar that look worse than the player Thibbs benched in the 4th qtr. Hibbert is a legit C. Lou is more fire power. Bass is a solid role player, that’s not a star player forced to be a role player.

      1. I am very serious. Ed Davis is young and one of the most efficient players in the entire NBA. And he was available for a reasonable long term contract. Losing him was very bad, he could have been a part of our long term vision. We actually had to sit him last year just so we could lose. That is very telling.

        As for Lin, he is a good player. He isn’t a starter in the NBA but a very good bench guard. I would rather have Lou, but the upgrade probably isn’t as big as many think.

        Boozer, well I am not a big fan but he has been consistently better than Bass his entire career, even recently. Was he as good as Taj? No, was he as good as Bass? Yes, probably better.

        1. Davis can’t create his own shot or shoot beyond 8 ft. He is a serviceable bench player it’s not devastating to lose him. Yes, Boozer was better than Bass. He was an all-star. Boozer is used to being a main guy not a role player. That’s why he has been declining in production. Bass has always been a solid role player. That’s what the Lakers signed him for, to be a solid role player.

          1. Davis knows his role and executes it perfectly. Check the NBA top PER players. You will find Ed. I agree that Bass is serviceable and also not as good as Boozer.

          2. I rely on my eyes not PER. Davis leaving means more time for Black. My point is losing Davis was not a big deal. The Blazers will find out when their one of the teams out of the playoff. Black will erase any memory you have of Davis. Randle and Bass will be greater than Boozer and Davis. Hibbert and Black will be greater than Hill and Davis.

          3. Black has potential. But his PER last season was pretty horrible. And his plus-minus for the team was really bad. Davis was the opposite. In fact Scott had to sit Davis just to ensure we lost enough games to have a chance at a draft pick.

            Bass is a lot older than Davis and not as good. Hibbert could be a nice pick up but also a 1 year rental who posted worse numbers than Davis last season.

    3. Yes, losing Ed Davis was another miscalculation, just like resigning Sacre.
      But you know, Black can play both the center and PF positions, Developing him may be the better long term solution. Randle will likely get a lot of starter minutes this coming season if he is healthy. So, any of the players we are talking about will be backing him upl So in that sense, Bass and Black should be adequate in that regard. While I admire Kupchak for making some good trades over the years, they still do too many little things that make us wonder what is going on. I hope these decisions are not being make by Jimmy Buss because his level of personnel involvement should be minimized. That’s like asking Jerry Jones to make personnel decisions for the Dallas Cowboys. Owners should just step back and let their professional employees make the decisions they are paid to make.

      1. I am not as sold on Black as a lot of you guys are. I like his effort. But he just cannot defend without fouling. Although to be fair that was also an issue for Ed. But Ed made his minutes count, had the best plus-minus on the team and also the best PER. We lost our best player, as sad as that is. Also Ed was young. He could have been a big part of our core for the next decade.

        Not to say Black can’t develop into that guy, but that is a big unknown, and one of a few problems we actually had a solution for.

  • The only place they play IF , is on the moon!
    Quit selling wolf tickets.
    It was a mediocre draft with some potential.
    Don’t start selling play off tickets yet.
    I’m hoping for the best but I don’t have rose color glasses.

  • Draft:
    DLo- A+
    Nane Jr – B
    Abrown – B+

    FA:
    Decline opt on HIll – A+
    Sacre in – FFFFFFFFFFFFF
    Bass – B
    Lou- A+
    Hibbert – A

    OA Rating; A-

      1. smith would start hes looking for a starting role and he can also fill in for swaggy and lou when they get cold

        1. the in game management wouldn’t be so much the issue. The bickering these 2 do in practice, yes we talking practice, needs so much baby sitting – bad locker room chemistry.

  • Nice analysis about existing players, but this roster still has a lot of issues with balance, too many shooters and not enough defense. So what improvements can we still expect from this FO? They made a blunder by keeping Sacre when they had the option to let him go. And the stalemate with Upshaw is perplexing, unless Kupchak has something else in mind. Still a lot of roster concerns. Sacre, Kelly (and probably Young) need to be upgraded with better players. If Upshaw does eventually sign, he will likely need to spend most of the season in the D-league to improve his game to NBA level. Young could be replaced easily by someone like Dorell Wright who would brings a more balanced game. With Kelly, they have too many PF’s, but can really use a veteran backup PG to mentor Russell. (Williams is a natural SG). This roster still needs work. Would like to see the FO address these problems BEFORE training camp, unless Kupchak is positive that he can acquire some decent veteran talent during camp cutdowns prior to season. Sometimes, when you wait too long, the available talent dries up! To repeat, that is why I would like to see the FO make the needed roster improvements BEFORE training camp. . .

  • grade F. drafting groucho marks, 1st was a big mistake. it is always harder to get a good center.

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