LakerTom
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Now that Kyle Kuzma has survived another offseason filled with trade rumors and will become a restricted free agent next season, it’s time for the Lakers to reopen discussions about extending his rookie contract.

It’s obvious the Lakers still think highly of Kuzma and were only willing to give him up in a mega trade for a proven All-Star player like Jrue Holiday so the smart move now would be to invest in his future by extending him. …


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Kyle Kuzma is the Los Angeles Lakers’ version of the American TV series Survivor, the one player everybody thought for sure would end up being traded this offseason but somehow is miraculously still on the roster.

Since we know he had been included in trade offers for Jrue Holiday and Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kuzma’s ultimate survival was not due to his having been declared touchable by the Lakers’ front office but simple serendipity. …


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One of the benefits of the Lakers having a deeper and more versatile roster than last season is it gives head coach Frank Vogel and the Lakers’ coaching staff even more options to create nightmare matchups against opponents.

While training camp will finalize the Lakers’ starting and closing lineups and rotations to begin the season, we don’t have to be rocket scientists to figure out how Vogel and his staff are likely going to use their personnel.

STARTING LINEUP

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PG Caldwell-Pope, SG Matthews, SF LeBron, PF Davis, CE Gasol

The only question regarding the Lakers’ starting lineup is whether coach Frank Vogel will replicate last season’s starting lineup by substituting Wesley Matthews for traded Danny Green or start point guard Dennis Schroder. …


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With the Detroit Pistons waiving Dewayne Dedmon, the Los Angeles Lakers suddenly have an opportunity to complete their transition from traditional back-to-the-basket centers by signing their second modern stretch center.

The biggest strategic move Rob Pelinka made during the offseason was the decision to dump traditional back-to-the-basket centers Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee and replace them with modern stretch five Marc Gasol. Signing Dedmon to backup Marc Gasol would be the pièce de résistance to Rob Pelinka’s masterpiece upgrade of the defending Lakers championship roster, completing the team’s transition from dinosaur bigs to modern centers.

The Lakers abandoning the Howard and McGee tandem that had been a trademark element in their championship run was a harsh reminder of how the value of traditional back-to-the-basket centers continues to plummet. The Lakers not only politely declined Howard’s embarrassing acceptance of a contract never offered but also gave the Cleveland Cavaliers one of their few remaining second round picks just to take McGee off their hands. …


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Sometimes you have to wait until a masterpiece is complete to appreciate how great a job the artist did. That’s clearly the case with the Los Angeles Lakers’ offseason rebuild by their VP of Basketball Operations Rob Pelinka.

Pelinka launched the offseason by trading for talented 18.9 points per game point guard and 6MOY runner-up Dennis Schroder and followed that by signing 18.6 points per game forward and 6MOY winner Montrezl Harrell. …


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While it will be impossible for the Lakers to clear enough cap space to offer Giannis Antetokounmpo a maximum contract in free agency next offseason, there is a path to make an Anthony Davis style midseason trade for Giannis.

The problem with pursuing Giannis in free agency is the Lakers already have two max contract superstars making 65% of the cap and adding him would mean 95% for three players and the 5% left is not enough to field a legal team. …


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Rob Pelinka and the Los Angeles Lakers have won the NBA offseason by dramatically upgrading their championship roster, setting themselves up for a midseason mega trade, and keeping their cap space clear for 2021.

While there’s still work to do signing veteran centers to minimum contracts and maybe pulling off a blockbuster trade to land Sacramento Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, Pelinka and the Lakers dominated the competition. …


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The success of the Los Angeles Lakers’ offseason and chances to repeat as champions heads for a reckoning this Friday when free agency starts and the team begins a desperate quest to sign a starting center for the season.

A quick look at the Lakers’ current roster heading into free agency lists the team’s only center as JaVale McGee, whose stock went from starting the for the entire regular season to becoming essentially unplayable in the playoffs. …


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The true modern center has to be able to score and defend at every level. That’s why Anthony Davis is such a dominant force when he plays the five. He can score from anywhere on the court and defend all five positions.

There are modern offensive centers who can shoot the three and defensive centers who can protect the rim and defend the perimeter but Anthony Davis is a unicorn, the mythical player every team covets and cannot find. …


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Kudos to the Los Angeles Lakers’ Rob Pelinka for pulling off a trade that not only gives the Lakers a needed third scorer and second playmaker in Dennis Schroder but also for not giving up his primary trading chip in Kyle Kuzma.

Getting Sam Presti to accept Danny Green and the 28th pick in the draft in exchange for Schroder means Pelinka still has enough ammunition left to pull off a second major trade to fill needs and upgrade the Lakers’ roster. Kuzma has starter quality talent and ambitions but plays the same positions as Lakers’ superstars James and Davis. …

About

LakerTom

Lakers fanatic since 1971 when team traded for Wilt Chamberlain. Founder, editor, and publisher of Lakerholics.com, a community for smart informed Lakers fans.

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