“Lakers-Dollars Overcome Dysfunction”
Don’t you just love some aspects of the NBA.
It’s all about winning, even if you are incompetent, dishonest, disloyal. And dollars allow you to do anything you want, to anybody.
So today the Lakers feel good about themselves now, proving dollars can buy you most anything, even if your credibility is shot.
Six years of missing the playoffs…terrible missteps in family ownership, chaos in the front office, a distracted lockeroom, all has seemingly been washed away by the blockbuster NBA trade that brought them superstar Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Lakers pull off a 6-for-1 trade to get Davis. A tremendous price to pay to get the 6’11 star from the Pelicans. It cost them 3-first round draft picks, and another wave of young players they developed over the last two years, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart.
Oddly those 3, plus this years 4th pick in the first round, will join ex-Laker Julius Randle already in New Orleans. The Pelicans will draft 1st and 4th, meaning they get Zion Williamson, another hot pick at the top of the board, and the 3-Lakers kids. That’s quite a team on the floor.
They give up a selfish star and rid themselves of troubling power broker agent Rich Paul, who engineered, and executed the end of Davis’ career with the Pelicans.
The deal gives the Lakers 3-quality players, the aging LeBron James, also repped by the same agent as Davis, plus young forward Kyle Kuzma.
The Lakers will still have 33M in cap space and could conceivably wind up with another near max-free agent. Or maybe they spread that money around and get 3-younger quality support players.
Jimmy Butler of the 76ers, Kemba Walker of Charlotte, DeAngelo Russell of Brooklyn, or Kyrie Irving of Boston could all be the last name acquisition. Then there’s Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton, or veterans like Patrick Beverly or Ricky Rubio, or Bojan Bogdanovich, all who might be more affordable and provide ‘strength in numbers’.
Of course the Lakers have 10-roster spots to fill and hopefully they will do a better job this year than the group of misfits they brought ion last year. Maybe Rajon Rondo and Javale McGee will want to stay for minimum vets salaries to see if they can ride the coat-tails to the NBA finals with King James and AD.
So odd. For months upon months, my friends at the LA Times, lead columnists and voices of criticism, railed on Jeannie Buss and Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson, for the dysfunction they dragged the franchise into. Now Bill Plashke-Arash Markazi and Dylan Hernandez are standing at the front of the line with pom-poms in hand as they bang the keyboard, cheering on the new look Lakers.
That’s all okay, though there still are issues, Jason Kidd and Lionel Hollins looking over the shoulder of the new coach. And whether the defensive demands of new head coach Frank Vogel, fall on the empty ears of the highest priced players in the world. And how long before Magic Johnson wants back in after screwing it all up. And whether Pelinka is as abrasive as people say he is and how that plays in the lockeroom.
I am not sure the dysfunction is in the distant past.
Up next surely will be my guy ‘Ice Cube’ with a new video promo to this next Lakers area.
It’s like the pennants atop Wrigley Field at home games in Chicago with the Cubs…blow one way-one day..the other way the next.
It’s quite a price for LA to pay to try and take a run to the top with an aging LeBron, and a Davis, carrying with him a history of injuries in his New Orleans baggage. There will be a short window for LA to make this happen before King James takes his talents to his post life career.
The Lakers are rid of young players I liked, but also rid of the whining parent LaVar Ball, whose taken his mouth to New Orleans. Think anyone will listen to his rhetoric on Bourbon Street? .So much for all things in the Ball Family. They are rid too of lead cheerleader Magic Johnson, great player, but a great failure in other things basketball.
So we now wait to see what transpires next in Lakerland.
I don’t know if the AD-trade can be equated to the acquisition of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar back in the day, that came at quite a price too, in David Myers, Brian Winters and Junior Bridgdeman. Or equal to what the Lakers draft pick trade that netted them the right to draft Magic Johnson. It won’t be the steal they got when they traded for Wilt Chamberlain of the then Philadelphia Warriors why back in 1968.
The downside for LA is the age factor, the injury factor, and maybe the reality that the real GM in Los Angeles is Rich Paul, not Rob Pelinka, and the question, should an agent carry that kind of clout in any locker-room?
For 1-day the Lakers knocked the Toronto Raptors-NBA championship off the front page of the NBA headlines.
Now we see what the longterm impact of this deal is, not just for the Lakers, but also the Clippers, who have two max free agent slots to use, and Golden State, who could lost 2-quality free agents, or bring the whole band back together.
The Lakers fired the first shot in free agency. We shall see what the next 3-weeks bring as other deals take place.
The NBA, proves one thing. Dollars buy your way out of dysfunction.