News 'n Views - May 2016: The Lakers' adjusted culture could pay dividends going forward
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 12:07 am    Post subject: News 'n Views - May 2016: The Lakers' adjusted culture could pay dividends going forward

Walton was Laker choice all along and they were his
by Mark Heisler - dailynews.com

This column was originally about my favorites in the Laker coaching search among Luke Walton, Jeff Van Gundy, Kevin Ollie, Ettore Messina, David Blatt, John Calipari, Jay Wright, Red Auerbach, Adolph Rupp and everyone else whose name was thrown into it:

1) Luke, 2) Luke, and 3) Luke.

Within hours of sending it to the office, the Lakers hired Luke.

What can I say about it but ... couldn’t you guys have held off a couple days so I didn’t have to rewrite?

So this just turned into a column about what the hiring means.

No, happy days aren’t here again in Lakerdom.

I wasn’t pro-Luke because he went 39-4 with the Warriors while Steve Kerr was out.

If that made Walton a hotter-than-hot prospect, the Lakers can use the sizzle but it’s not about miracle turnarounds. After 43 games with the Lakers, Luke’s likelier to be 4-39 than 39-4.

This is about his fit over the l-o-n-g haul that rebuilding will require: Luke with the team he played eight seasons for; with Jerry Buss’s Showtime philosophy; with Jeanie Buss’ yearning to recreate her father’s vision ... and with Phil Jackson who could be running the Lakers in a year.

In this specialized era, choosing a coach means choosing a style of play ... and the Lakers weren’t doing so well at it.

As opposed to knowing who and what they were — a franchise built on a crowd-pleasing, high-scoring offense — the Lakers did what everyone else does, alternating between the coaching styles they had just had and no longer wanted.

If they fired a defensive coach like Mike Brown, they hired an offensive one like Mike D’Antoni.

If they replaced an outsider like D’Antoni, they hired Byron Scott who was Laker Family.

It’s not like they never adapted. Jackson’s triangle wasn’t Showtime but it was OK with Jerry Buss if Phil could win him five titles.

There was less comfort if defensive coaches like Brown, Scott — or Tom Thibodeau, who was considered at midseason — didn’t win titles or make the playoffs.

Walton fits across the board. He’s Laker Family. He’ll bring Golden State’s Showtime-on-rocket-fuel offense. He gives the Lakers, who were scorned for appearing antiquated, a modern face.

Continued....


Last edited by lakersfreak on Tue May 31, 2016 7:04 am; edited 42 times in total
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 12:07 am    Post subject:

Walton 'Excited' to Become Lakers' Head Coach
by Joey Ramirez - nba.com

The Golden State Warriors geared up for the Western Conference Semifinals on Saturday, but the bulk of the attention was on the postseason plans for one of their assistant coaches.

Luke Walton, who was announced as the next head coach of the Lakers, met with the media for the first time since the decision was made official on Friday.

“I think they have some good, young, talented players,” Walton told the assembled reporters. “Obviously you need to mix in some good vets with that to not only win, but to have players on the court that can help the young players grow. I’m excited about the players and the pieces there.”

Walton will remain with the Warriors for the remainder of their title defense, but head coach Steve Kerr has already offered his opinion on the challenge of finding a new associate coach.

“You can’t replace Luke,” Kerr said. “He’s one-of-a-kind. They broke the mold after they made Luke. We’re gonna miss him desperately.”

Walton led the Warriors to a 39-4 record while Kerr missed the first half of the season due to complications stemming from offseason back surgery. The 36-year-old even guided the Warriors to the best start in NBA history, as they won their first 24 games, which earned him the Western Conference Coach of the Month award for the October/November period.

Walton even received one second- and two third-place votes for Coach of the Year, which was won by Kerr, as Golden State's 73-9 record topped the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls for the most wins ever.

“I can’t believe Luke Walton’s the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers,” Klay Thompson said. “I feel like I was just watching him play five years ago for them.”

Like Kerr, Draymond Green had a bittersweet outlook on Walton's departure from the team.

“I’m excited for him, but at the same time this one stings a little bit,” Green said. “He’s obviously a guy that we want around. But I think when you have the kind of success that we had, and you prove what he proved this year, he’s deserving. And that’s a dream job for him.”

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 12:08 am    Post subject:

Luke Walton Plans To Run Similar Offense To Warriors
by Corey Hansford - lakersnation.com

Now that he is officially the head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, Luke Walton will have plenty of things to figure out as he looks to turn things around for a franchise coming off the two worst seasons record-wise in franchise history.

One question regarding Walton is what kind of offensehe is looking to run as the right style will be necessary to get the most out of the Lakers’ young talent.

In his first interview since being named Lakers coach, Walton said that he wanted to run an offense similar to that run in Golden state via Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times:

Luke will run offense more like Golden State, with spacing and motion, he says.

Walton also said that the triangle offense would not work for the Lakers given their personnel via Bresnahan:

Walton will not run the triangle offense as the Lakers' coach. It's not the "most appropriate" offense for personnel they have, he said.

The last note about the triangle offense is interesting as there have been plenty of rumors about Phil Jackson coming back to the Lakers in the coming years and he will always be a proponent of that particular style.

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 12:08 am    Post subject:

Two D-Fenders discuss what Luke Walton is like as a coach
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Some of his former players offer insight into the early coaching days of Los Angeles' new head coach

Luke Walton had a ton of success while filling in as interim head coach with the Golden State Warriors this season. 39-4 is obviously an impressive stat, but it's still hard to know how he'll do as a head coach with the Los Angeles Lakers, a much less talented team than the juggernaut he got to coach in Golden State.

Walton spent time as a player development coach with the Lakers D-League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, during the 2013-14 D-League campaign, and two of his former players over that time were impressed with his coaching style.

"He was as cool as you'd think he'd be," said guard Andre Ingram, an eight year D-League veteran. "A players' coach." D-Fenders point guard Josh Magette echoed that sentiment.

"I would say he is a laid-back type of coach," said Magette, "He never raised his voice but when he talked, people listened."

Both guards praised Walton's ability as a teacher. Before injuries took their toll on him, Walton was a multifaceted role player, skills Ingram said he tried to pass along to the D-Fenders big men.

"He was huge on teaching bigs how to be versatile threats," said Ingram. "Whether they were shooting, making a play with the ball, or hitting guys for scores."

Walton was perhaps best known for his floor vision. Magette, the D-League's leader in assists this season with 9.2 per game, credited Walton for some of his development.

"With his playing experience, he had a lot to share and teach," said Magette. "The way he sees the game is something I was able to take away from playing with him."

Continued....
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 12:51 pm    Post subject:

Quote:
Walton acknowledges that it won't be easy to turn around a team that reset the franchise record for most losses in back-to-back seasons. A big part of this is establishing a culture in his first season at the helm.

“The (challenge) here was to take a good team that had already established themselves and trying to make them great,” Walton said. “With the team in L.A., we need to go down there and build a foundation. … We’re trying to set the foundation for how we want to play, what’s acceptable, the style of play, how we compete — all these things.”


OOOOMMMMMGGGGG LLOOOOOVVVEEEE THHHHIIIISSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 2:06 pm    Post subject:

Luke Walton ready to change Lakers’ losing culture
by Bill Oram - dailynews.com

A faint but familiar thumping leaked through the closed doors of the Golden State Warriors practice Saturday. Strains of a melody followed. When the door cracked open, Warriors assistant Jarron Collins’ grinning face popped out, a torrent of sound escaped and the hallway was treated to Randy Newman’s 1983 soft rock jam, “I Love L.A.”

A day earlier, Walton had accepted the Lakers’ offer to become the Lakers’ next head coach.

The day before that, Thursday, Walton exited a hotel at Oakland’s Jack London Square, confident about the six-hour interview he had just given Lakers executives Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak, but with no idea how quickly the organization he played eight-plus seasons with was looking to act.

“I left the meeting thinking it went well,” Walton said following the Warriors practice. “Obviously didn’t think it would get done that quickly.”

Even Kerr, the Coach of the Year who hired Walton as an assistant two years ago and watched him grow into one of the business’ hottest commodities, acknowledged being “shocked” by the Lakers’ timeline.

Kupchak had vowed not to let the search lag like it did two years ago when the Lakers waited until July to hire Scott. But even the general manager’s most ambitious timeline had the Lakers making a hire in another week.

Walton and the Lakers were simply too good of a match to waste any time. Walton guided the Warriors to a 39-4 start while Kerr recovered from offseason back surgery, and the team’s 24 straight wins to open the season shattered an NBA record.

Even in those early days of the season, he was popularly discussed as a replacement for Scott.

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 2:08 pm    Post subject:

Luke Walton says Lakers' job was an opportunity he couldn't pass up
by Mike Bresnahan - latimes.com

Someone played "I Love L.A." very loudly behind closed doors toward the end of the Golden State Warriors' practice.

It had everything to do with Luke Walton, the new Lakers coach.

He's still an assistant coach with the Warriors through their playoff run but already being tied to the happy-go-lucky song that always symbolizes good times for the Lakers.

Championship times in the future too, Walton hopes.

The 36-year-old agreed to a five-year deal worth about $25 million Friday with the Lakers. Despite their 17-65 finish this season, Walton was all smiles Saturday after the music, and Warriors practice, ended.

He has wanted the Lakers' job for as long as he could remember. It's finally his.

"I played for the Lakers and I feel part of that family. It's kind of nice to be able to go back and try to help rebuild what we used to have there," Walton said.

Walton, 36, will not run the triangle offense he played for the Lakers when Phil Jackson was his coach because it isn't the "most appropriate" for the personnel they have. He's opting instead for the space-and-pace mind-set of the Warriors.

Of course, the Lakers will have to do it with D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle — not Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

This seems fine with Walton, who is cognizant the Lakers will have about $60 million to spend on free agents this summer. They also have a 55.8% chance at keeping their top-three protected draft pick at the May 17 lottery.

"I think they have some good, young talented players," Walton said. "Obviously, you need to mix in some good vets, not only to win but to have players on the court that can help the young players grow. I'm excited about the players and the pieces that are there. There's obviously work to do, but they've got a nice start."

Continued....
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 2:09 pm    Post subject:

Luke Walton has nothing but praise for the Lakers young players
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Los Angeles' new coach likes his new players

Luke Walton has always had a reputation as a nice guy. Less than 24-hours after the Los Angeles Lakers named him as the 26th coach in franchise history, it's easy to see why.

During his first appearance with the media since accepting the Lakers coaching job, Walton dished out nearly as much praise for the team's young core of Julius Randle, D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Larry Nance, Jr. as they received over the entire two years under former head coach Byron Scott.

There were reports after Walton was hired that a major reason he took the job was because he was "high" on the Lakers' young talent and thought D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle could be All-Stars, and he confirmed these reports to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times after the Golden State Warriors' practice on Saturday, starting with the versatile forward the Lakers hope Walton can help polish:

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 2:52 pm    Post subject:

Here's to Luke Walton being the next Pop. 20 year Laker career sounds good to me. He needs a superstar now.
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 7:25 pm    Post subject:

Oliver Reed wrote:
Here's to Luke Walton being the next Pop. 20 year Laker career sounds good to me. He needs a superstar now.

He has Russell!
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 10:20 pm    Post subject:

What can Lakers fans expect from Luke Walton?
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Trying to figure out how Los Angeles will look under their new hire

The Los Angeles Lakers got their man on Friday night when they hired Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton to be the 26th coach in franchise history. It's become cliche to mention at this point, but the Lakers grabbing their top option in anything after several years of memorable misses is still worth noting.

The next big question is: what did they get? What do we really know about Luke Walton the head coach? The answer is not much, but early indications are promising.

Everyone knows about Walton's success his stint as interim coach with the Warriors, but the fact that he spent time as a player development coach for the Lakers' D-League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, may end up being more critical for a young Lakers roster.

Walton reportedly believes the Lakers' young players can be All-Stars, and now he'll have a hand in getting them there. Judging by an interview he did with BBall Breakdown earlier this season, he will focus heavily on the basic aspects of the game.

"As advanced as our league is and as good as the players are, everything still comes down to the fundamentals of the game, and the teams that execute that the best, and the players who execute that the best," said Walton. "You come out in practice and you do it every single day, and even though you mentally don't want to be doing it, you still train your body to go through those actions. Then when you're in the game and you're not thinking about that stuff, I think you naturally do it."

A young Lakers team that ranked last in the league in defensive efficiency and second to last in offensive efficiency was certainly lacking in the fundamentals department. But where the Lakers last head coach, Byron Scott, so often came off as a disciplinarian who wanted things done his way without question, Walton sounds more interested in developing a culture of collaboration.

"We have a great group of guys [with the Warriors]. They've been open to everything we've suggested since we've been here, and that relationship goes both ways," Walton said when talking about how the Golden State coaching staff worked with the team. "They have suggestions for us on what they think could work and we try that as well, and it has been a nice recipe for success here."

That's all well and good, but even if it sounds like Walton will be able to build a more positive locker room, it's still unknown exactly how he'll utilize the Lakers' talent on the floor. Walton told Bill Oram of the O.C. Register and other assembled reporters that he won't use the triangle with the Lakers and will draw more inspiration from how the Warriors have built an offense around spacing and ball movement, but he outlined to BBall Breakdown how some of those triangle principles influenced the offense he helped design in Golden State.

"We didn't want to come in, this team had won fifty-some games before we got here, we didn't want to completely change everything they did," said Walton. "So we didn't put in the triangle offense as Steve and I ran it under Phil and Tex, but the concepts of all five guys always being a threat, the non-stop movement, if one thing is denied, then just counteract back the other way, the spacing, all those basic ideas of the triangle are in our coaching staffs' beliefs and we use those in the offense that we run."

Luke phrasing it as the offense that "we" run was probably not intended to have any extra meaning, but it's also fitting. Walton garnered tons of praise during his time as interim head coach for not just keeping the engine Kerr had running so smoothly last year running, but for installing a hyperdrive that might have been what left Warriors owner Joe Lacob confident enough to say that his organization was "light years ahead" of the rest of the NBA.

Walton and the Warriors raced out to a 39-4 start this season, but when looking at the team's advanced statistics with Walton at the helm versus how they played upon Kerr's return, the results are nearly identical. The team's shot distributions was also essentially the same:

Under Walton:

Continued....
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 10:22 pm    Post subject:

Sports World Reacts to Hiring of Luke Walton
by Joey Ramirez - nba.com

When the Lakers announced their new head coach, Luke Walton, on Friday night, it naturally led to plenty of chatter throughout the NBA.

Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak expressed his thoughts in a statement, as did Golden State GM Bob Myers and head coach Steve Kerr.

Mitch Kupchak
"We're excited to bring Luke back to Los Angeles, where we feel he's going to start an outstanding coaching career. He's one of the brightest young coaching minds in the game and we feel fortunate that he'll be leading the on-court future of our team."

Bob Myers
"We are thrilled for Luke. This is a tremendous opportunity for him to return home and serve as head coach for one of the most storied franchises in sports. Luke has done an incredible job during his two-year stint with our team and has played a significant role in our success, including last year’s championship and again this season under some very unique circumstances. We are certainly going to miss Luke after we conclude our playoff run this season, but we wish him the very best with the Lakers.”

Steve Kerr
“I’m incredibly happy for Luke. As we witnessed earlier this season, he has all of the intangibles necessary to be an outstanding head coach in this league, including a terrific understanding of the game (and) the ability to communicate with a wide range of people. He’s certainly ready for this opportunity and I’m confident he’ll do a great job with the Lakers once our season is complete.”

Others took to social media to express their thoughts on Walton's hiring. From Lakers Owners Jeanie and Joey Buss to Walton's father, Bill, there was plenty of reaction to the announcement of the franchise's 26th head coach.

Continued....
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 2:10 am    Post subject:

lakersfreak wrote:
What can Lakers fans expect from Luke Walton?
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Trying to figure out how Los Angeles will look under their new hire

The Los Angeles Lakers got their man on Friday night when they hired Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton to be the 26th coach in franchise history. It's become cliche to mention at this point, but the Lakers grabbing their top option in anything after several years of memorable misses is still worth noting.

The next big question is: what did they get? What do we really know about Luke Walton the head coach? The answer is not much, but early indications are promising.

Everyone knows about Walton's success his stint as interim coach with the Warriors, but the fact that he spent time as a player development coach for the Lakers' D-League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, may end up being more critical for a young Lakers roster.

Walton reportedly believes the Lakers' young players can be All-Stars, and now he'll have a hand in getting them there. Judging by an interview he did with BBall Breakdown earlier this season, he will focus heavily on the basic aspects of the game.

"As advanced as our league is and as good as the players are, everything still comes down to the fundamentals of the game, and the teams that execute that the best, and the players who execute that the best," said Walton. "You come out in practice and you do it every single day, and even though you mentally don't want to be doing it, you still train your body to go through those actions. Then when you're in the game and you're not thinking about that stuff, I think you naturally do it."

A young Lakers team that ranked last in the league in defensive efficiency and second to last in offensive efficiency was certainly lacking in the fundamentals department. But where the Lakers last head coach, Byron Scott, so often came off as a disciplinarian who wanted things done his way without question, Walton sounds more interested in developing a culture of collaboration.

"We have a great group of guys [with the Warriors]. They've been open to everything we've suggested since we've been here, and that relationship goes both ways," Walton said when talking about how the Golden State coaching staff worked with the team. "They have suggestions for us on what they think could work and we try that as well, and it has been a nice recipe for success here."

That's all well and good, but even if it sounds like Walton will be able to build a more positive locker room, it's still unknown exactly how he'll utilize the Lakers' talent on the floor. Walton told Bill Oram of the O.C. Register and other assembled reporters that he won't use the triangle with the Lakers and will draw more inspiration from how the Warriors have built an offense around spacing and ball movement, but he outlined to BBall Breakdown how some of those triangle principles influenced the offense he helped design in Golden State.

"We didn't want to come in, this team had won fifty-some games before we got here, we didn't want to completely change everything they did," said Walton. "So we didn't put in the triangle offense as Steve and I ran it under Phil and Tex, but the concepts of all five guys always being a threat, the non-stop movement, if one thing is denied, then just counteract back the other way, the spacing, all those basic ideas of the triangle are in our coaching staffs' beliefs and we use those in the offense that we run."

Luke phrasing it as the offense that "we" run was probably not intended to have any extra meaning, but it's also fitting. Walton garnered tons of praise during his time as interim head coach for not just keeping the engine Kerr had running so smoothly last year running, but for installing a hyperdrive that might have been what left Warriors owner Joe Lacob confident enough to say that his organization was "light years ahead" of the rest of the NBA.

Walton and the Warriors raced out to a 39-4 start this season, but when looking at the team's advanced statistics with Walton at the helm versus how they played upon Kerr's return, the results are nearly identical. The team's shot distributions was also essentially the same:

Under Walton:

Continued....
If the players have the same attitude as the Warriors players, there is a very bright future.

It will be obvious which players has not bought into Luke's focus and they should be traded immediately
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 4:41 am    Post subject:

lakersfreak wrote:
Two D-Fenders discuss what Luke Walton is like as a coach
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Some of his former players offer insight into the early coaching days of Los Angeles' new head coach

Luke Walton had a ton of success while filling in as interim head coach with the Golden State Warriors this season. 39-4 is obviously an impressive stat, but it's still hard to know how he'll do as a head coach with the Los Angeles Lakers, a much less talented team than the juggernaut he got to coach in Golden State.

Walton spent time as a player development coach with the Lakers D-League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, during the 2013-14 D-League campaign, and two of his former players over that time were impressed with his coaching style.

"He was as cool as you'd think he'd be," said guard Andre Ingram, an eight year D-League veteran. "A players' coach." D-Fenders point guard Josh Magette echoed that sentiment.

"I would say he is a laid-back type of coach," said Magette, "He never raised his voice but when he talked, people listened."

Both guards praised Walton's ability as a teacher. Before injuries took their toll on him, Walton was a multifaceted role player, skills Ingram said he tried to pass along to the D-Fenders big men.

"He was huge on teaching bigs how to be versatile threats," said Ingram. "Whether they were shooting, making a play with the ball, or hitting guys for scores."

Walton was perhaps best known for his floor vision. Magette, the D-League's leader in assists this season with 9.2 per game, credited Walton for some of his development.

"With his playing experience, he had a lot to share and teach," said Magette. "The way he sees the game is something I was able to take away from playing with him."

Continued....


Amazing article.

Players around the NBA are gonna line up to play for Luke.
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 11:32 am    Post subject:

Why Luke Walton can help attract free agents
by Jesus Gomez - todaysfastbreak.com

The Lakers have landed one of the most sought-after coaches available. Luke Walton will sign a five-year contract with the franchise for which he played for nine seasons ]. It’s the first time in two offseasons general manager Mitch Kupchak has actually gotten his guy, and it could be the first step towards bringing back the franchise from the depths of mediocrity it has fallen into recently.

Now, Walton is basically a rookie head coach. He served a stint as the top dog in Golden State when Steve Kerr had to miss time after back surgery and did well, but a case could be made that anyone would have succeeded with that roster. So why is someone as unproven as he is so important to the Lakers’ future? Because he will immediately make them more appealing to free agents.

Time after time the Lakers have seen their pitches fail simply because they really had little to offer. They tried to sell LaMarcus Aldridge on L.A. instead of the franchise because of that very reason. Why would anyone want to play for Byron Scott in the middle of Kobe Bryant’s retirement tour? Why would anyone want to play for Byron Scott, period? The day-to-day is obviously important to players, and the Lakers environment seemed dysfunctional at best, toxic at worse.

Now Bryant is gone and so is Scott. Kupchak will surely dump Nick Young elsewhere this offseason, along with any other veteran who feels he can’t get over D’Angelo Russell’s mistake. There’s a feeling that a new age is starting, and Walton is the perfect man to see that it begins smoothly. He’s part of the Lakers’ family, so he will know how to navigate the politics involved with being part of the franchise and should get the seal of approval from everyone in the ownership group.

More importantly, he seems like the type of coach that can get players to buy in.

As talented as the Warriors are, there are some complex personalities in that locker room. Draymond Green yelled at Steve Kerr and threatened to sit out the second half of a game. Andrew Bogut openly clashed with Mark Jackson. Andre Iguodala always speaks his mind. Stephen Curry surely has an ego. They could have simply tuned out the substitute teacher if they had wanted to as they waited for Kerr to return.

No one did, which shows he can lead a group and has the people skills to motivate players without pushing them too far.

That’s not a minor thing. If any potential free agent target asks someone who played for Walton about him, they won’t likely get mixed reviews. That was surely the case with Mike D’Antoni and Scott. The benefit of hiring someone with little head coaching experience but who has established good relationships everywhere he’s been is that at the absolute worse, he will be a neutral influence in the free agency process and not a negative one, like past Laker coaches surely were.

Walton doesn’t only have people skills working for him. He might have been a role player, but he won two championships and shared a team with Kobe Bryant, who many stars grew up idolizing. As a coach, he’s been part of a staff that won a title and set a record for regular season wins. Again, he might not have been directly responsible for those accomplishments, but he still carries that aura of success that could be alluring to prospective free agents.

Continued....
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 11:34 am    Post subject:

Magic Johnson says the Lakers should pursue DeMar DeRozan in free agency
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Magic has some tips for the front office

Anyone who even casually follows the Los Angeles Lakers knows the team faces a pivotal offseason this summer. First comes the draft lottery, where the Lakers' second-worst record still only gives them a 55.8 percent chance to keep their pick.

After either drafting or finding out they won't retain the pick, the team's front office must next turn their attempts towards free agency, where they project to have a league-leading $68.3 million in cap space, plenty of money to offer at least two maximum contracts.

With Lakers president Jim Buss staring down his self-imposed deadline to return the team to the Western Conference Finals or step down, who the team is able to acquire will be a major indicator of whether or not the team will be able to reach those unlikely heights.

Former Lakers point guard Magic Johnson already offered the groundbreaking insight that Buss should try to sign Kevin Durant, and on Sunday he offered more invaluable free agency tips:

Laker Nation: DeMar DeRozan should be one of the free agents we go after this summer.

— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 2, 2016


DeRozan will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and many have reported the Lakers will attempt to bring the Southern California native home to Los Angeles. Lou Williams has publicly pondered recruiting his former teammate, but with DeRozan's Toronto Raptors able to offer the most money and already proving they can win a lot of games, the ball will truly be in Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri's court.

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Last edited by lakersfreak on Mon May 02, 2016 11:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 11:35 am    Post subject:

Magic Johnson says the Lakers should sign LeBron James
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

More free agent tips from the Magic man

Former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Magic Johnson's Twitter account has been a must-follow for the team's fans over the last 24-hours. He kicked things off with the announcement that he was planning to mentor Lakers point guard D'Angelo Russell and work out with him this summer, and then he started offering some groundbreaking free agency advice for the front office.

Earlier this year, Johnson saw enough from Kevin Durant in the Oklahoma City Thunder's loss to the Golden State Warriors to advise Lakers president Jim Buss that he should sign this little-known contributor when he enters free agency this summer. Then on Sunday night, Magic started tweeting that the Lakers should sign Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Johnson's advice came on the heels of the Southern California native scoring 30 points on 32 shots in the Raptors' game seven win over the Indiana Pacers.

Johnson wasn't quite done on Monday morning, as he had another tip for the Lakers' front office:

Laker Nation: The Lakers should call LeBron James agent. We know he's going stay in CLE but they should go after him just in case he leaves.

— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 2, 2016


This is good advice if you don't really think about it at all. The Lakers will of course call LeBron's agent, but as Johnson notes, him staying in Cleveland is a near-certainty. Therein lies the problem: the Lakers have spent the last few summers waiting for unlikely big name signings to turn them down while solid contributors sign elsewhere.

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 11:36 am    Post subject:

Magic Johnson wants the Lakers to sign Kevin Durant
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

You could say Magic has an eye for talent

The Los Angeles Lakers will have a league-leading $68.3 million in cap space this summer, according to Basketball Insiders, and all of that money has one of their former superstars excited for the offseason. Magic Johnson has been firing off a ton of free agency advice for Lakers president Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak on his Twitter account over the last 24-hours, and it's clear he wants the Lakers to sign some big names.

Johnson kicked things off after the Toronto Raptors' game seven win over the Indiana Pacers, saying the Lakers should sign Southern California native DeMar DeRozan this offseason. Johnson started to aim progressively bigger on his next tweets, advising the front office to target LeBron James if he decides to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Johnson wasn't done hunting for big game with the Buss' money quite yet. A few months ago, Johnson offered the groundbreaking insight that Kevin Durant is a player the Lakers should look at this summer, and he doubled down on that advice Monday morning:

Laker Nation: The first free agent the Lakers should go after is Kevin Durant.

— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 2, 2016
Laker Nation: I would love to see Kevin Durant in the Purple & Gold!

— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 2, 2016


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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 11:37 am    Post subject:

Magic Johnson To Mentor D’Angelo Russell
by Ryan Ward - lakersnation.com

During his rookie season, Los Angeles Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell had his moments where the Ohio State product showed flashes of potential. From an impressive 39-point performance against the Brooklyn Nets in March to some jaw-dropping passes displaying his remarkable court vision, Russell has the skills to become an All-Star-caliber player and he has the ideal mentor to help him get there.

On Sunday, Russell sat down for a lunch meeting with Laker legend Magic Johnson. Russell wanted to get as much information as possible from arguably the greatest player to ever play his position, and Magic was all for sharing the knowledge.

It appears the meeting went well and Johnson has agreed to workout with Russell this summer to help the Lakers floor general take the next step in his development. Magic took to Twitter to announce the good news:

In my meeting with D'Angelo Russell, he picked my brain about the PG position and I'm looking forward to working out with him this summer!

Johnson has embraced the role as Russell’s mentor both on and off the basketball floor:

Laker Nation: I'm looking forward to being a mentor to D'Angelo Russell on and off the court.

With Magic helping Russell along the way, it’ll be interesting to see the 20-year-old’s progress next season. Although Kobe Bryant helped Russell during his rookie season, Johnson seems to be taking a more hands-on approach and may be able to connect with the former Buckeye on a different level.

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 11:39 am    Post subject:

Luke Walton started his coaching climb in Memphis
by Bill Oram - dailynews.com

Years before instant success and ready-made acumen won him his dream job with the Lakers, Luke Walton had a long flight over the Pacific Ocean and much of the mainland to agonize over a loss in the fifth-place game of the 2011 Maui Invitational.

“Luke took it hard after we lost in Maui,” former University of Memphis coach Josh Pastner said.

Jack Murphy, then a Memphis assistant, said Walton was “so upset you would have thought it was Game 7 of a playoff series.”

Walton clarified that he wasn’t throwing any tantrums or breaking locker room fixtures. On Saturday, the morning after being announced as the Lakers next coach, Walton said coolly, “I hate losing. Been in me since I was a kid.”

Walton will leave the 73-win Warriors at the end of the season for a Lakers team that has won just 65 games in three years. The Lakers must rebuild to be rebuilt, and will likely endure many more losses before rejoining the NBA’s elite.

“I know it’s going to happen,” Walton said of losing games, “but there’s always something you can do and losing’s a great motivator for doing more.”

In that game in 2011, the No. 8-ranked Tigers blew a lead in the final minute against Georgetown and lost in overtime.

Walton should have been a month into his ninth season as a Lakers player, but due to that season’s lockout, he sought a new challenge. He signed on as an assistant with Pastner, his former college teammate at Arizona.

Which explained his misery over an early-season college basketball game. Scouting Georgetown was his responsibility.

It may have been a temporary gig – Walton told USA Today at the time he took the job, in part, “to find out how much I’m into coaching” – but the Lakers forward was a serious aide.

“I knew the next week he could be gone,” said Murphy, now the head coach at Northern Arizona, “back making millions of dollars in the NBA.

“That just showed me how invested he is in that moment. He wasn’t looking forward to the future; he was invested in that moment in Memphis basketball. Nothing else mattered.”

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 9:38 pm    Post subject:

The Lakers told Luke Walton which free agents they want to sign
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Could Luke impact which free agents Los Angeles pursues?

The Los Angeles Lakers fulfilled their first major task of the offseason when they fired head coach Byron Scott and replaced him with Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton last week. Next on their to-do list is finding out if they will keep or retain their top-three protected first round pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, and then the team must turn their efforts to free agency.

Walton had some interesting things to say about the latter during his first comments to the media following the announcement he would take over the Lakers last Friday.

"[The Lakers] laid it all out. They showed what they want to do, players they plan on going after, all that stuff," Walton told Ethan Sherwood Strauss of ESPN and other assembled media. "That's exciting to me. Get to be with one of the greatest organizations in the history of sports, and they're ready and willing to get after it."

The Lakers' interview with Walton was reportedly six hours, so it makes sense that Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss eventually discussed their plans for the summer with their prospective head coach, but it's still worth noting. It's also interesting to theorize who might be on that list, and if Walton's hiring affects which free agents the team could target.

As a relatively unknown quantity, it seems unlikely that Walton's hiring would sway the top tier free agents in 2016's crop, but two names he might have an effect on are two of his current Warriors players, Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli. The Lakers reportedly plan to target those two players if Kevin Durant passes on them, and while both will likely be restricted free agents, the Warriors' own pursuit of Durant may allow the Lakers an opportunity to sign one or both of them.

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 9:39 pm    Post subject:

Luke Walton’s Contract Is For 5 Years, $25 Million
by Eric Yee - lakeshowlife.com

New details about Luke Walton‘s contract with the Los Angeles Lakers are now available

According to multiple sources, Luke Walton’s deal with the Los Angeles Lakers is for five years, $25 million or roughly $5 million a year.

Looking around the league at the salaries of his head coaching counterparts, Walton seems to fall directly in the middle of the pack, making the same salary as Chicago Bulls’ head coach, Fred Hoiberg, and even his mentor, Golden State Warriors’ coach, Steve Kerr.

Luke Walton's contract to coach the Lakers will be for five years and about $25 million.

When comparing this to the contract that the Minnesota Timberwolves recently gave Tom Thibodeau — 5 years, $50 million — it can be argued that LA got off easily. It must be mentioned that, Thibodeau will have double-duty serving as head coach and president of basketball operations, a la Doc Rivers.

When directly held up to Byron Scott‘s contract ($4.25 million a year), Mike D’Antoni‘s ($4 million a year), and Mike Brown‘s ($4 million a year), Walton represents a significant upgrade for just around a million dollars more per season.

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 10:16 pm    Post subject:

Walton will double the win total next year with minimal signings. If he gets the big fish and a top 2 pick, I think he will win 40+. If he gets durant and whiteside, with the top 2 pick. 50 wins and playoffs here we come....
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 2:08 pm    Post subject:

Lakers want to trade 2016 lottery draft pick even if it's No. 1, according to report
by Drew Garrison - silverscreenandroll.com

There's a rumor that the Lakers will shop their lottery pick should they retain it. It'd be more surprising if they didn't though

The Los Angeles Lakers are moving toward a new future with head coach Luke Walton, but that might not include a lottery pick to add to the core should the ping pong balls fall their way on May 17. The Lakers will reportedly shop their top-three protected 2016 lottery pick, even if they land the first-overall pick, according to Colin Cowherd of Fox Sports 1.

"I've now been told by two separate sources, even if the Lakers get the No. 1 pick they're trading it," Cowherd said during The Herd. "They don't want to rebuild anymore. They want to get a star NBA player. They will call teams if they get the No. 1 pick and shop it around the league. "

Rumors are going to swirl about the fate of the pick for the time being, so it's best to take any and all reports with enough salt to cause your doctor to warn you about the onset of hypertension. It's worth considering what that could mean for the Lakers, though. Should they fall their way up into the top pick of the draft and land the opportunity to take Ben Simmons, who's widely-considered the top prospect joining the NBA, he'd be an enticing trade chip for any franchise looking to go in a new direction.

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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 2:09 pm    Post subject:

Luke Walton's hire is the latest sign the Lakers want to embrace modern basketball
by silverscreenandroll.com

Los Angeles has had some high profile misses over the last few years. Will Walton be the latest?

Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Howard and LaMarcus Aldridge didn't want to play here.

Strike.

Mike Brown, cutting edge young coach, didn't work out here.

Strike.

Mike D'Antoni, he who modernized the NBA with his now-legendary "Seven Seconds Or Less" pace and space offense, couldn't stick around here.

Strike.

Steve Nash, who defied the laws of time and space for so many years, couldn't stay on the court here.

Strike.

How many strikes make an out again?

Over the past five years, the Los Angeles Lakers have been a confounding quagmire of mammoth whiffs and strike outs, the result of which has ultimately yielded two of the worst seasons in franchise history. Never one for complacency, the organization has been anything but motionless in this stretch, if that's worth anything. They've constantly made moves, whether it be going through an almost Sacramento Kings-like rotation of coaches, cycling out personnel and flirting with free agents all across the board.

Not to simply weave a tale of negativity (as is my station), the Lakers have swung for the fences and had success over the past half-decade. Where many had a narrow focus on using the 2015 NBA Draft's second selection on Jahlil Okafor, LA instead picked D'Angelo Russell, a move that looked smarter and smarter as the season wore on.

They traded Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard, which didn't work out in regards to keeping Howard in free agency, but was still a great trade in hindsight. If not for Dwight, the Lakers very well could have offered Bynum a max contract extension, a decision that would no doubt haunt the franchise to this very day. They made a no-brainer pick at number seven in the 2014 NBA Draft, when they selected Julius Randle. There isn't a player taken after him that gives me pause at the pick, thus far.

But for the most part? Ankle-twisting, hurricane-inducing whiffs.

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