News 'n Views - July 2016: What’s Brandon Ingram’s Ceiling?
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 11:08 pm    Post subject:

Lakers reportedly hope free agency moves turn them into a playoff team
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Do their additions really give Los Angeles a chance at the postseason?

When the Los Angeles Lakers handed out whopping four-year deals to Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng over the first few days of free agency, the assumption was twofold. One, that the team had to overpay in order to get players to agree to join what was the second worst team in the league last year, and two, that the front office wanted to bring in capable veterans to help their young core grow.

According to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, who wrote a column reporting on the dysfunction in Lakers’ management this past week and appeared on NBA TV on Saturday, this is only partially true. The team is also saying they think these roster additions can lead to a more rapid return to competitiveness than most would predict.

“The Lakers are making free agent moves to try and get good right now,” Ding said after referencing Jim Buss’ self-imposed deadline to make the Lakers competitive again, “They hope it’s a playoff ready roster. Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss are hoping to have a contender this coming season, which seems really unlikely.”

As unlikely as that may seem, Ding outlined the ways it could potentially come to pass.

“But it is possible they could bid for the playoffs if there is a lot of improvement from these young players, and then Mozgov gives them stability as a rim protector and a pick-and-roll partner for D’Angelo Russell, and Deng gives them that veteran influence to help them learn how to win games late. So that’s their hope,” said Ding.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 11:10 pm    Post subject:

Lakers are paying a premium for Timofey Mozgov, Luol Deng to help establish structure around their young core
by Bill Oram - ocregister.com

Disappointment is only natural when your team enters the offseason with hopes of signing Kevin Durant, but spends $136 million on Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov instead.

For four years, the Lakers have struggled to adjust their expectations to match their reality. Finally, they seem to be getting it. Because the crazy thing is not shelling out that much money for those players, it’s believing they had better options.

Yes, they spent too much: $64 million for Mozgov, who played less than four minutes per game in the NBA Finals, and $72 million for Deng, 31, who is on the late edge of his prime, if not past it.

However, the cruel truth is that without the Lakers offering more money than other suitors, free agents have no incentive to join a young, unproven roster.

Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson might in fact become stars, but they are not there yet. None of them has played more than two years in the NBA. And even though Clarkson just landed a payday of his own with a four-year, $50 million pact, he is not yet a veteran nor a leader.

The Lakers core of young players need grooming and guidance. And time. They need veterans to occasionally take the load off their shoulders.

Mozgov is known as a positive locker room influence wherever he has played, and, minimal participant or not, he’s coming off a championship run with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Deng, by all accounts, is one of the NBA’s best citizens; a philanthropist and admired teammate. On Twitter, Dwyane Wade called Deng one of his “all-time favorite teammates.”

Without Deng and Mozgov, the Lakers’ veteran leadership consisted of Lou Williams. Great scorer, but more of a playboy than a mentor.

The Lakers are paying a premium to establish structure around their young core. What they hope sprouts from that is a culture that will one day soon attract the elite free agents who have eluded them for the past four summers.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 11:11 pm    Post subject:

No team options on Timofey Mozgov, Luol Deng contracts
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Both players look to be here for the long haul.

Every contract in free agency this offseason is going to be an overpay. With the rapid ascent of the cap, teams had more money to spend than they knew what to do with.

Even with that said, the four-year deals the Lakers just handed out to Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng were widely seen as more generous than most, which left many fans hoping the final years of the two deals would be team options.

That isn’t the case, according to Sam Amick of USA Today, who reported on Twitter Saturday afternoon that both Mozgov and Deng’s contracts did not have options in any of the four years. While it’s still unknown if all of the years on the deals are fully guaranteed or not, in this market it seems more likely they are.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 11:12 pm    Post subject:

What Luol Deng Brings To The Los Angeles Lakers
by Trevor Lane - lakersnation.com

Luol Deng has decided to join the Los Angeles Lakers, according to a report that broke inconsiderately early on Saturday morning. Deng’s deal is for four years and a total of $72 million, matching the trend of eye-popping big money contracts that have been given out this summer. This is the third signing for the Lakers this summer, with Timofey Mozgov and Jordan Clarkson also coming to agreements shortly after the start of free agency.

On the surface, the Deng deal, like Mozgov’s, appears to be for a year (maybe two) too long. At 31 years old, Deng is on the tail end of his career, making it more probable that he won’t produce at a level commensurate to his salary at the end of his contract. However, since deals can’t be officially inked until July 7th, we don’t yet know for certain what the terms are. It’s possible that part of these contracts are not guaranteed, or that they have team options included somewhere, which would make both deals much more appealing.

Contract aside, there is a lot to like about the Deng deal. Not only does his name provide for a plethora of puns, but he is also an excellent fit for the Lakers’ young roster.

A 12 year veteran, Deng’s experience will be invaluable. Larry Nance Jr. recently spoke about how much watching Brandon Bass’ work ethic impacted him last season, and Deng is known as one of the most dedicated grinders in the league. There are few better to set a positive example, which is an intangible benefit that goes beyond the stat sheet.

In particular, this move should go a long way towards developing prized rookie Brandon Ingram. Having a two-time All-Star like Deng to lean on will undoubtedly help Ingram transition to the NBA both on the court and off the court. The veteran tricks that Deng has picked up over the years will certainly be valuable, but so will advice on managing life as a professional athlete.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:03 pm    Post subject:

Luke Walton is already swaying free agents to join the Lakers
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Los Angeles’ new additions like Luke, and the young guys as well.

Back when the Los Angeles Lakers were still searching for a new head coach, there were reports that the team was looking “to find someone who can be effective in spearheading their recruiting pitches to free agents.” After the Lakers agreed to two deals within the first few days of free agency, early indications are that Luke Walton is already fulfilling this goal.

During his first interview following his agreement to join the Lakers, Timofey Mozgov said his “conversation with Walton was key” in his decision, with the head coach pitching him on being the team’s “primary center.”

Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News reports that Walton was able to have a similar effect on free agent Luol Deng, writing that the forward was “pleased with the conversation” he had with Walton during the recruiting process.

No matter how you feel about these two signings, it’s good news for the Lakers that their new head coach is connecting with players in a positive way. And while superstars aren’t going to take the bait yet, if Walton can follow through on his goals of creating a positive culture for the Lakers alongside a joyful style of play, it will go a long way towards making the team a free agency destination again.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:04 pm    Post subject:

Defending The Timofey Mozgov, Lakers Deal
by Lang Greene - basketballinsiders.com

The Los Angeles Lakers were one of the first teams to strike in this year’s free agency period, reportedly agreeing to terms with veteran center Timofey Mozgov. The deal is reported to be a four-year pact worth $64 million. For most fans, paying Mozgov an average of $16 million annually is a head-scratcher, especially since he played less than 80 minutes in this year’s playoffs and so many bigger names were available.

But here’s the cold hard truth.

Yes, the Lakers are one of the league’s premiere franchises. Yes, the Lakers have a past filled with championship trophies. Yes, the Lakers play in one of the most desirable markets in the NBA. But let’s be clear: Los Angeles has won a combined 65 games over the past three seasons. To put this in perspective, the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs won more games in this past season alone.

The Lakers, as a franchise, are in a critical state of rebuild. The team is entering a new era with future Hall of Fame guard Kobe Bryant walking away from the game. The club is also under new leadership, with rookie head coach Luke Walton taking over the bench.

As hard as the Lakers tried to lure top guys into town for a free agency visit, the club just didn’t receive any traction. Top free agents such as Al Horford, Hassan Whiteside and Dwight Howard were inaccessible. Securing the autograph of a superstar such as Kevin Durant was a pipe dream – at best.

Before the Lakers can dream of signing big names, the team must improve their on-court talent level. The club has an interesting mix of youth with D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr. and, now, Brandon Ingram. However, the club is lacking veterans who have proven to be productive.

While most won’t be able to wrap their heads around the Mozgov signing for some time, you have to remember he is an upgrade over last year’s starter Roy Hibbert. Mozgov was buried on Cleveland’s bench for the majority of this past season, but he also started the campaign less than 100 percent after surgery.

If you look at Mozgov over the course of his career, his numbers have been solid when given a consistent allotment of minutes.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:05 pm    Post subject:

Luol Deng's true value will be helping the Lakers' grow
by silverscreenandroll.com

Los Angeles needs veterans, and they got a great one on the second day of free agency.

The Los Angeles Lakers seem to be throwing everyone for a loop this offseason. A franchise known to seek out big names has thrown major long-term money at aging veterans. The Lakers handed out $64 million to Timofey Mozgov and followed up with a $72 million contract for Luol Deng. While many see these contracts as a sign of desperation for the franchise, the Deng signing is actually one that will benefit the Lakers both immediately and in the long run.

Deng is a 12-year NBA veteran with a great reputation (unless the judge is an anonymous scout). He is known to be a hard worker and team player, and his ten year tenure with the Bulls coincided with the franchise’s most promising era since the Jordan days. Deng doesn’t demand attention or recognition. He’s simply going to do whatever it takes for the team to be successful.

That unselfishness and work ethic is what makes Deng valuable. His impact on the young Lakers will be profound. He won’t take away their opportunities, but he will work with them and help instill new head coach Luke Walton’s culture. Walton won’t have to publicly air grievances about players not working hard because Deng will naturally carry Walton’s message to the younger players. He will show up in the gym and on the court ready to give 110 percent, as he always has done.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:07 pm    Post subject:

The Lakers’ Offseason Plan Actually Makes Sense
by Jonathan Tjarks - theringer.com

Timofey Mozgov’s four-year, $64 million contract with the Lakers, agreed to in the opening hours of free agency, was the canary in the coal mine. If a guy who had fallen out of a rotation and played a grand total of 76 minutes in the playoffs could get that much money, anything was possible in the NBA’s brave new financial world. A day later, the Lakers agreed to terms on a four-year, $72 million contract with 31-year old forward Luol Deng. It’s a lot of money for two players out of step with the timetable of the team’s young core, and it locks them out of the hunt for premium free agents. So, what were they thinking?

In a normal market, Mozgov would have been an intriguing buy-low candidate, a player looking to rebuild his value on a short-term deal. Instead, the Lakers locked him up at the first opportunity, committing huge money to a guy who couldn’t even get on the floor for the Cavs.

Of course, just because a player is a benchwarmer for the NBA champions doesn’t mean he can’t help one of the worst teams in the league. The Cavs had given max contracts to Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love, and LeBron James was at his most effective playing power forward, so there just weren’t many minutes available for Mozgov, especially after Cleveland traded for Channing Frye at last season’s deadline. Even if Mozgov was at 100 percent, he was always going to be a victim of a numbers crunch in a crowded frontcourt in Cleveland. He wasn’t close to full capacity, which made his fade to the end of the bench all the more justifiable.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:09 pm    Post subject:

Lakers expected to trade or waive Nick Young
by Gary Kester - lakersoutsiders.com

The Los Angeles Lakers still have some work to do to round out the roster for the upcoming 2016-17 season. After agreeing to four-year deals with Jordan Clarkson, Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng, the team still has a few open spots on the roster they can fill.

Could another spot be opening up soon? There has no been no shortage of chatter that Nick Young may have played his final game already with the Lakers, with Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times recently reporting that “it will be a surprise if he’s not traded or waived before training camp.”

The Los Angeles Daily News’ Mark Medina basically confirmed reports of Young’s imminent departure (h/t Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen and Roll).

Medina says if the Lakers aren't able to trade Nick Young, they're just going to buy him out. Relationship w/D'Angelo doesn't matter to LAL.
9:51 AM - 3 Jul 2016


Long before the off-court incident with D’Angelo Russell, Young’s play had declined considerably since Mike D’Antoni resigned as head coach and was replaced by Byron Scott. Additionally, his off-court antics have shed a negative light, perhaps serving as a distraction at times, and that’s not the type of guy you want in a locker room with a promising, young core.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:11 pm    Post subject:

Inside Look At the Lakers’ New Training Facility in El Segundo
by Shereen Rayan - lakeshowlife.com

The Los Angeles Lakers unveiled details and rendering of their new headquarters and practice facility that will also serve as the LA D-Fenders home court

If you thought the legendary Los Angeles Lakers organization and players practice facility was the Taj Mahal of NBA buildings equal to the legacy of the ball club, you would be wrong.

Simply to find it you have to pass three different ice rinks, shiver and climb two flights of stairs to the very back of the Toyota Center all the while smelling sweaty socks and condensation. It’s not pleasant. So it was about time something was done to create a practice facility which matched the prowess of the Lakers’ organization.

Currently, the Lakers operations staff are housed in two different buildings, so they wanted to bring everyone together. The Clippers finished a 42,500 square foot standalone facility in Playa Vista in September 2008. The Lakers are behind the times, they are starting eight years later, but the Lakers facility will be almost three times the size.

The new $80 million Lakers practice facility is under construction and will be completed in the Spring of 2017 if there are no delays. The Lakers wanted to focus on the theme of integration with the basketball court as the focus of the facility, so they put it in the center and built around it:

“There are many ways we could have configured this building, but the basketball court is right in the middle and everything else is around it,” said Carl Meyer, principal at Perkins+Will, the associate architect.

“Whether someone works in sales, sponsorships, accounting or social media, they all felt they needed to be exposed and next to the basketball part of the organization.”


The combination of glass and steel facility will include a 122,000-square-feet of space with two stories and a double basketball court for Lakers’ practices and D-Fenders home games. There will be a training area, two half-courts, an area for the team to hang out, an atrium and the corporate headquarters. This fun factory of basketball will be located at 710 N. Nash St. in El Segundo.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:29 pm    Post subject:

Now is not the time for the Lakers to trade for Russell Westbrook
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

The team shouldn’t mortgage the future for one summer splash.

Kevin Durant joining the Golden State Warriors shifts the landscape of the entire NBA as a doom-bringing Voltron forms in the Bay Area. In addition to adding a top-five player to a 73-win team that was one poorly-played fourth quarter away from back-to-back championships, it also destroys the organization that almost kept them from even making it to the Finals in the first place.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are faced with major questions after Durant's 4th of July fireworks set their franchise ablaze. How do they continue from here? How do you recover from the loss of the best player to ever play for your team?

Some have suggested in the wake of Durant's move that, with Russell Westbrook a free agent next year, Oklahoma City should tear down. Trade Westbrook for assets before he ditches them next summer, as if it's a surefire thing.

Such doom-and-gloom is inevitable in the aftermath of such an earth-shattering blow to the team, but it's hard to predict from the outside whether or not Westbrook is a goner for sure. That hasn't stopped people from preparing theoretical trade offers for him.

On Monday morning, my Twitter timeline was harder to keep up with than the spinning wheels of an overheating slot machine , but one of the more popular suggestions flying across it was that the Lakers should trade for Russell Westbrook. That this was the team's chance to call up Oklahoma City, offer up their pick of the players from the team's young core and take them in exchange for Westbrook, a Los Angeles native and former UCLA Bruin Lakers fans have long salivated over.

For the second summer in a row, the Lakers face a Stanford marshmallow experiment as a franchise. Just as with last year's talk of trading for DeMarcus Cousins, the front office has to decide if they want one marshmallow now at the expense of several later.

Russell Westbrook is better than any of the players in the Lakers’ young core. He will likely always be better than any of the young Lakers. That is not to say I'm down on this core group, just that it's unrealistic to expect any player to reach Westbrook's heights. He's REALLY FREAKING GOOD.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:30 pm    Post subject:

Tarik Black re-signs with Lakers on a two-year deal
by Gary Kester - lakersoutsiders.com

The Los Angeles Lakers have added two new players to the roster in free agency by signing Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng to four-year deals, while keeping one of their own in purple and gold by re-signing restricted free agent Jordan Clarkson to a four-year, $50 million contract.

Now, it appears that they will be retaining another young player that has been on the roster for the past two seasons, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania.

Vertical Sources: Free agent Tarik Black has agreed to a two-year, $12.85 million deal to re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.
10:55 PM - 3 Jul 2016


In a new free agent market that has seen massive deals be agreed upon throughout the league, re-signing Tarik Black for just a shade over $6 million per year is a steal. Black was buried on the bench last season by Byron Scott, despite being a productive role player when he actually saw time on the floor.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:33 pm    Post subject:

Lakers Thought Byron Scott Should Have Played Tarik Black More
by Trevor Lane - lakersnation.com

The Los Angeles Lakers agreed to terms with center Tarik Black to a two-year, $12.85 million deal, bringing the fan favorite back to the franchise he spent the last year and a half with. Black initially came into the league in 2014 as an undrafted rookie with the Houston Rockets but was waived mid-season to make room for Josh Smith.

The Lakers swooped in and scooped up Black, who quickly earned the appreciation of Lakers fans with his high-energy play and thunderous dunks. He was expected to be a key part of the rotation during the 2015-2016 NBA season, but Black’s minutes and role were drastically cut by then-Coach Byron Scott.

Many fans didn’t agree with the move, and it appears that the Lakers brass were confused by it at as well, via Eric Pincus of the Basketball Insiders:

The sense I get, the Lakers never quite understood why B. Scott didn’t play Tarik Black more, was an issue of contention

— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) July 4, 2016


Now, with Scott out the door and new Coach Luke Walton on board, we can expect to see Black’s role increase next season. Walton coached Black for part of a season when he worked as an assistant for the University of Memphis during the 2011 NBA lockout, and will need his steady play to back up starting center Timofey Mozgov.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:34 pm    Post subject:

Tyronn Lue Calls Timofey Mozgov ‘Best Verticality Guy In The League’
by Corey Hansford - lakersnation.com

The Los Angeles Lakers moved quickly in free agency, making a call at 12:01 AM ET to Timofey Mozgov and coming to terms on a four-year $64 million deal within the first hours of free agency.

Mozgov wasn’t necessarily the big splash fans were hoping for, but he represents an upgrade at the center position and is known for his work on the boards and as a rim protector. Though he fell out of the rotation in Cleveland last year, he was still beloved in the locker room by coaches and players.

Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue spoke about Mozgoz and in an appearance on Bleacher Report radio, calling him the best ‘verticality guy’ in the league according to Howard Beck:

Lue says Mozgov was "the best verticality guy in the league." Says it will be tough to lose him and Dellavedova.

— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) July 3, 2016


Verticality is an extremely important skill for big men defensively as the ability to go straight up in the air without fouling is huge in terms of rim protection. Even if he isn’t getting blocks, Mozgov can alter a number of shots by using his long arms to stay in the way.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:35 pm    Post subject:

Lakers Players React To Kevin Durant Agreeing To Sign With Warriors
by Ryan Ward - lakersnation.com

Kevin Durant leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder to sign with the Golden State Warriors has sent shockwaves throughout the NBA. Durant’s future has been up in the air for quite some time, but the consensus was he’d simply re-sign with the Thunder. The one-time NBA MVP put an end to the speculation on Monday by taking to The Players’ Tribune to announce his intentions to join Stephen Curry and company.

With Durant agreeing to sign a two-year deal with the Warriors to create an unprecedented team filled with All-Stars, there were plenty of reactions around the league among the media and players. Two of the Los Angeles Lakers best and brightest took to Twitter in the aftermath of Durant’s decision to express their thoughts. Larry Nance Jr. was the first to chime in claiming Russell Westbrook will be on another level next season:

Westbrook is about to go OFF next year

— Larry Nance Jr (@Larrydn22) July 4, 2016


D’Angelo Russell also had something to say with his emphasis being on how ridiculous the Warriors will be, especially on NBA 2K17:

See what I tell yaw! Now the Warriors will be illegal. #2k

— D’Angelo Russell (@Dloading) July 4, 2016


Russell was referring to his tweet from a few days ago when free agency had just gotten underway with players agreeing to deals left and right:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:06 pm    Post subject:

lakersfreak wrote:
Tyronn Lue Calls Timofey Mozgov ‘Best Verticality Guy In The League’
by Corey Hansford - lakersnation.com

The Los Angeles Lakers moved quickly in free agency, making a call at 12:01 AM ET to Timofey Mozgov and coming to terms on a four-year $64 million deal within the first hours of free agency.

Mozgov wasn’t necessarily the big splash fans were hoping for, but he represents an upgrade at the center position and is known for his work on the boards and as a rim protector. Though he fell out of the rotation in Cleveland last year, he was still beloved in the locker room by coaches and players.

Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue spoke about Mozgoz and in an appearance on Bleacher Report radio, calling him the best ‘verticality guy’ in the league according to Howard Beck:

Lue says Mozgov was "the best verticality guy in the league." Says it will be tough to lose him and Dellavedova.

— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) July 3, 2016


Verticality is an extremely important skill for big men defensively as the ability to go straight up in the air without fouling is huge in terms of rim protection. Even if he isn’t getting blocks, Mozgov can alter a number of shots by using his long arms to stay in the way.

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It's it supposed to be Roy Hibbert?

BTW, Hibbert signed for 1 yr/ $5M with the Hornets. Jennings also signed with the Knicks for the same thing which is exactly what I thought is possible with the Lakers. Now move on to Jerrett Jack....

BTW, the Mavs get Barnes & Bogut....I prefer that to Mozgov& Deng. But the signing of Mozgov& Deng is at least understandable. You have to act quickly. Black for 2yr/ 12M? Did not hear anyone bidding for his service and he is RFA anyway. WHY???
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:23 pm    Post subject:

[quote="LaxT"]
lakersfreak wrote:
Mavs get Barnes & Bogut....I prefer that to Mozgov& Deng. But the signing of Mozgov& Deng is at least understandable. You have to act quickly. Black for 2yr/ 12M? Did not hear anyone bidding for his service and he is RFA anyway. WHY???
BShaw was Mozgov's coach and was probably involved with the decision

Deng is FAR better choice than Barnes

Black's salary is below the NBA's average salary of $9M - hence a great deal
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:22 am    Post subject:

Kudos to Kupchak and the Front Office For Finally Getting It Right
by Ed Schrenzel - lakeshowlife.com

When the Lakers signed center Timofey Mozgov, an avalanche of derision followed but critics overlooked the reality of today’s NBA and ignored the wisdom of the Lakers’ strategy

Current league rules were specifically designed to prevent a large-market team from buying the top players, which is ironic especially considering the latest news surrounding Kevin Durant. This is no longer 1996, where Jerry West could simply offer Shaquille O’Neal the most money to come to LA.

After swinging and missing at the cream-of-the-crop free agents the past three years, the Lakers front office finally got the message that some fans and critics missed. There will be no quick fix to return the team to title contention.

Instead, the Lakers will rely on their ‘reward’ for enduring the three worst seasons in franchise history: three straight top seven draft picks, Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram. Now that the circus atmosphere surrounding Kobe Bryant’s farewell year has ended, the reins will be turned over this coming season to those three budding stars, four if you include Jordan Clarkson.

Nobody can predict with certainty how good the youngsters will eventually be. Each of the four could become All-Stars or they could all crash and burn. But how well and how fast they develop will largely determine the success of the team.

With all of this in mind, before free agency even began, Mitch Kupchak and company decided not to waste time chasing the likes of Kevin Durant or LeBron James. Lakers fans were obviously displeased but in today’s NBA no superstar wants to be a team’s savior without first knowing he has proven teammates.

Instead, the focus of free agency for the Lakers was to sign players to support the young potential stars. Their three biggest goals were to first re-sign Jordan Clarkson, then find a starting center, and finally, add a high character veteran to set an example and provide mentorship.

And in the first two days of free agency, the team succeeded in all three of those objectives as they got commitments from Clarkson, Mozgov and Luol Deng though they seemed to do so in a confusing order. The net result is that this offseason the team essentially replaced Roy Hibbert, Ryan Kelly, Robert Sacre and a physically-hampered Bryant with Mozgov, Deng, Ivica Zubac and Ingram. Kupchak should be universally praised for his accomplishments!

Continued....
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:24 am    Post subject:

Lakers fans can only watch as Jerry West helps secure Kevin Durant for the Warriors
by Mark Hiesler - ocregister.com

Just when Laker fans thought it was safe to open their eyes again ...

Kevin Durant’s shocking decision to join the Warriors comes with a dismaying local angle for Lakerdom – the reports that Jerry West’s conversation with KD as their closer might have been what sealed the deal.

Right, that Jerry West, who’s not only The Logo on the NBA’s branded image but Mr. Clutch, the career Laker who coached them in the ‘70s, helped build the Showtime teams in the ’80s and pulled off the coup that landed Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant in the ’90s.

Exactly, the Jerry West who’s a Laker no longer, having run Memphis from 2002-2007, now exerting his extraordinary influence as a Warrior consultant.

As Don Corleone said of his son, Michael, joining the Army, “He does these things for strangers.”

You’re not a real fan if you haven’t asked why the Lakers haven’t tried to bring West back.

I have the answer: No good reason, several bad ones.

Jim Buss doesn’t want West back, even as a consultant, fearing that Jerry will finish off his own fading influence.

Of course, everyone knows Jeanie has her own plans to finish off Jim, who gave her a perfect opening by blithely announcing the Lakers would be back soon.

Jeanie has – repeatedly – defined that to mean the West Finals this season ... or, in other words, sayonara, bro!

Jeanie has her own candidate to replace Jim: Phil Jackson.

Since Phil is her fiance, you can’t call this the height of professionalism, even if the role – Laker president, presumably over GM Mitch Kupchak – would be largely ceremonial.

West has just shown what he could do in a largely ceremonial role.

Continued....
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:26 am    Post subject:

Kevin Durant decision will have profound impact on the Los Angeles Lakers
by Keith Rivas - lasportshub.com

While the Kevin Durant decision left us speechless, the aftermath will have a direct impact on the Los Angeles Lakers.

After the moves that Los Angeles has made in the free agency period thus far, the idea that Kevin Durant’s new home would change their luck so much may not have been in the cards to the degree it should have been.

Monday marked a historic day in the NBA, as Durant’s decision to team up with the already incredible Golden State Warriors will shake the league tremendously moving forward.

Durant’s near-decade with the Oklahoma City Thunder didn’t come without plenty of opportunities to achieve basketball’s ultimate dream, but the former league MVP saw a chance at a title he didn’t want to let pass by.

Now that the Thunder know he won’t be returning to them, what they do with the rest of the guys is going to be watched very closely.

Nobody seems to be safe, including fellow superstar Russell Westbrook, who could find himself anywhere from getting traded, gifted with an extension, or allowed to freely speak to and potentially sign with other teams next summer.

While the Thunder don’t seem to really be winners as a result of the long-awaited decision, the Lakers should be taking strong note of the fact that Westbrook could end up on the block.

According to a report from ESPN, trading Westbrook would come into play if he decides not to extend his current contract with the team.

Per the report:

If Westbrook chooses not to extend his contract this summer, multiple league executives told ESPN they believe the Thunder will consider fielding trade offers for Westbrook.

Los Angeles would have to tread carefully if they wanted to pursue Westbrook, but one of the pulls that they have compared to other teams that might try and make a move is their access to stuff of Westbrook’s interest off the floor.

Continued....
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:28 am    Post subject:

Timofey Mozgov’s sold on Luke Walton’s promise of a significant role
by Mark Medina - ocregister.com

The giddiness could be heard clearly, even through Timofey Mozgov’s thick Russian accent.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak contacted Mozgov’s representatives a minute after the free agency negotiating window opened Thursday, and a short time later they presented the 7-foot-1 center with a four-year, $64 million offer, an enormous contract that illustrated a mix of the team’s dire needs at the position and a historic spike in the NBA salary cap.

Mozgov maintained those elements alone, however, did not convince him to join the Lakers. Nor were they the things that made him the most giddy when he spoke via phone Monday. Instead, Mozgov said a five-minute conversation he had with new Lakers coach Luke Walton shortly after free agency began had him the most excited.

“He said I’m going to play a lot,” Mozgov told the Southern California News Group. “The only thing in the world I want to do is be with my family and play basketball. Those are the two things that are most important for me.”

Mozgov will officially sign his contract when the NBA moratorium ends Thursday.

He has a coach who has assured him of a spot in the starting lineup after he averaged just 6.3 points and 4.4 rebounds and shot 56.6 percent from the field last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Mozgov also secured a lucrative contract to support his family, leading him to joke that he will spend plenty of time with them this summer in Los Angeles “sitting on the beach and drinking a piña colada.”

Mozgov is aware of the criticism surrounding his lucrative contract, but he quickly laughed it off.

“I like it,” Mozgov said, chuckling. “Players are happy with the money going up. But it’s not just about the players getting the money. The owners and the players association are getting money. Everybody’s happy.”

Mozgov waxed nostalgic about watching the Chicago Bulls and Lakers when he was living in his native Russia. Mozgov then circled back to Walton again.

“He said I’m going to play a lot,” Mozgov repeated. “He said I’m going to be a big part of the team on the offensive and defensive end.”

Walton might envision Mozgov playing an Andrew Bogut-like role with the Lakers, but he wasn’t that for the Cavaliers last season.

Continued....
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:15 am    Post subject: Luke Walton believes in Timofey Mozgov

Luke Walton believes in Timofey Mozgov
by Thai Luong- lakersoutsiders.com

On July 1st just a stroke past midnight, the Lakers called Timofey Mozgov and almost half an hour later, they offered him a four-year deal worth $64 million. Mozgov agreed to the deal soon after. The Lakers’ contract offer to Mozgov shocked many people and caused quite a stir among fans. The urgency and swiftness of deal along with the length and value of the contract had a lot of people questioning the signing.

Why Mozgov of all centers? Why were they so quick to offer him a contract?

Confusion and doubt quickly cast themselves over the signing, but the answer was simple, the Lakers wanted him. Luke Walton desired him.

In an interview with Southern California News Group, Mozgov told Mark Medina that Luke Walton promises him a lot of playing time:

"He said I’m going to play a lot," Mozgov said." I really like it. The only thing in the world I want to do is be with my family and play basketball. Those are the two things that are most important for me."

Mozgov played extremely well after being traded to Cleveland. He performed admirably in the 2015 NBA Finals against the Warriors. Mozgov averaged 14 points, 7.5 rebounds and 28 minutes of play in six games. He shocked everyone in game three where he dropped 28 points and 10 rebounds in only 33 minutes of play.
continued
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:28 am    Post subject:

LaxT wrote:
Black for 2yr/ 12M? Did not hear anyone bidding for his service and he is RFA anyway. WHY???


Must thank Scott for not showcasing Black.

A blessing in disguise. Hopefully.
_________________
.

Lakers depth chart

PG Johnson / Goodrich
SG Bryant / West / Scott
SF Baylor / Worthy / Cooper
PF Mikkelsen / Hairston / McAdoo / Gasol
C Chamberlain / Abdul-Jabbar / O'Neal / Mikan
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:41 am    Post subject:

lakersfreak wrote:
Kudos to Kupchak and the Front Office For Finally Getting It Right
by Ed Schrenzel - lakeshowlife.com

When the Lakers signed center Timofey Mozgov, an avalanche of derision followed but critics overlooked the reality of today’s NBA and ignored the wisdom of the Lakers’ strategy

Current league rules were specifically designed to prevent a large-market team from buying the top players, which is ironic especially considering the latest news surrounding Kevin Durant. This is no longer 1996, where Jerry West could simply offer Shaquille O’Neal the most money to come to LA.

After swinging and missing at the cream-of-the-crop free agents the past three years, the Lakers front office finally got the message that some fans and critics missed. There will be no quick fix to return the team to title contention.

Instead, the Lakers will rely on their ‘reward’ for enduring the three worst seasons in franchise history: three straight top seven draft picks, Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram. Now that the circus atmosphere surrounding Kobe Bryant’s farewell year has ended, the reins will be turned over this coming season to those three budding stars, four if you include Jordan Clarkson.

Nobody can predict with certainty how good the youngsters will eventually be. Each of the four could become All-Stars or they could all crash and burn. But how well and how fast they develop will largely determine the success of the team.

With all of this in mind, before free agency even began, Mitch Kupchak and company decided not to waste time chasing the likes of Kevin Durant or LeBron James. Lakers fans were obviously displeased but in today’s NBA no superstar wants to be a team’s savior without first knowing he has proven teammates.

Instead, the focus of free agency for the Lakers was to sign players to support the young potential stars. Their three biggest goals were to first re-sign Jordan Clarkson, then find a starting center, and finally, add a high character veteran to set an example and provide mentorship.

And in the first two days of free agency, the team succeeded in all three of those objectives as they got commitments from Clarkson, Mozgov and Luol Deng though they seemed to do so in a confusing order. The net result is that this offseason the team essentially replaced Roy Hibbert, Ryan Kelly, Robert Sacre and a physically-hampered Bryant with Mozgov, Deng, Ivica Zubac and Ingram. Kupchak should be universally praised for his accomplishments!

Continued....

The only way to know if they got it right is to wait and see what happens this season and the next few years. Right now it's too early to know.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:39 pm    Post subject:

LoyalLakerfan44 wrote:
lakersfreak wrote:
Kudos to Kupchak and the Front Office For Finally Getting It Right
by Ed Schrenzel - lakeshowlife.com

When the Lakers signed center Timofey Mozgov, an avalanche of derision followed but critics overlooked the reality of today’s NBA and ignored the wisdom of the Lakers’ strategy

Current league rules were specifically designed to prevent a large-market team from buying the top players, which is ironic especially considering the latest news surrounding Kevin Durant. This is no longer 1996, where Jerry West could simply offer Shaquille O’Neal the most money to come to LA.

After swinging and missing at the cream-of-the-crop free agents the past three years, the Lakers front office finally got the message that some fans and critics missed. There will be no quick fix to return the team to title contention.

Instead, the Lakers will rely on their ‘reward’ for enduring the three worst seasons in franchise history: three straight top seven draft picks, Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram. Now that the circus atmosphere surrounding Kobe Bryant’s farewell year has ended, the reins will be turned over this coming season to those three budding stars, four if you include Jordan Clarkson.

Nobody can predict with certainty how good the youngsters will eventually be. Each of the four could become All-Stars or they could all crash and burn. But how well and how fast they develop will largely determine the success of the team.

With all of this in mind, before free agency even began, Mitch Kupchak and company decided not to waste time chasing the likes of Kevin Durant or LeBron James. Lakers fans were obviously displeased but in today’s NBA no superstar wants to be a team’s savior without first knowing he has proven teammates.

Instead, the focus of free agency for the Lakers was to sign players to support the young potential stars. Their three biggest goals were to first re-sign Jordan Clarkson, then find a starting center, and finally, add a high character veteran to set an example and provide mentorship.

And in the first two days of free agency, the team succeeded in all three of those objectives as they got commitments from Clarkson, Mozgov and Luol Deng though they seemed to do so in a confusing order. The net result is that this offseason the team essentially replaced Roy Hibbert, Ryan Kelly, Robert Sacre and a physically-hampered Bryant with Mozgov, Deng, Ivica Zubac and Ingram. Kupchak should be universally praised for his accomplishments!

Continued....

The only way to know if they got it right is to wait and see what happens this season and the next few years. Right now it's too early to know.


Seriously did they have any other choice?

With the current leadership, this is the best we can do.
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