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LakerTom

The Lakers were confronted with pro basketball’s version of Sophies’ choice: the mercurial ‘difference-making playmaker’ or the lethal sharp shooter who took more threes than any player not named Steph Curry?

After negotiating with both the Sacramento Kings for Buddy Hield and the Washington Wizards for Russell Westbrook, the Lakers made a last minute decision to go with the mercurial playmaker over the lethal 3-point shooter. …


Heading into the 2021 NBA Draft, there’s an emerging possibility DeMar DeRozan could end up being the ‘difference-making playmaker’ the Lakers need to move LeBron James to the four and Anthony Davis to the five.

While known mostly for his elite midrange game and reluctance to shoot the three, DeRozan has evolved into an elite playmaker with the Spurs the last three years, averaging 6.9 assists on 2.0 turnovers per game last season. …


There’s no former Lakers’ player who is more polarizing or misunderstood than Lonzo Ball, who was drafted #2 overall by Los Angeles back in 2017 where he played his first two seasons before being traded to New Orleans.

Over hyped by Magic Johnson and the LA media and hounded by his father LaVar Ball’s antics, Lonzo Ball spent a good portion of his two seasons with the Lakers fighting injuries and trying to live up to inflated expectations. …


Why should the Los Angeles Lakers settle for a Superstar Big Three when there’s a legitimate chance they can create the NBA’s first Superstar Big Four with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kyle Lowry, and DeMar DeRozan?

The odds of the Lakers pulling off deals to land both Lowry and DeRozan may be long and depend on the loyal and grateful Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs working to get Kyle and DeMar to their desired destinations. …


There’s a reason why more than half of the teams in the NBA opted to be hardcapped this past season. While hardcapping limits what a team can spend on salaries for the season, it also gives teams other advantages.

The first advantage is hardcapped teams can sign-and-trade for other teams’ free agents. For teams like the LA Lakers who don’t have cap space, sign-and-trades are the only way they can acquire a high priced free agent. The Lakers’ priority this summer is to find a ‘difference-making playmaker.’ …


If any Lakers news this offseason deserved a Woj Bomb, it was Mark Stein’s report that the Lakers covet a “difference-making playmaker who would allow James and Davis to spend more time at power forward and center.

This is blockbuster news for the Lakersverse. If true, Stein’s report basically says the Lakers are considering abandoning what has been a two-year campaign to accommodate Anthony Davis’ preference not to play the five. …


Between two Covid colored seasons, the rise of a new generation of stars, and a looming changing of the guard in the NBA, this offseason may be the time for the Lakers to ask Anthony Davis to play small ball center full time.

While Davis at the five might be a delicate subject to discuss right now since his injury susceptibility was a big part of why the Lakers aren’t in the Finals, AD at the five is the ultimate weapon around which the team should build. The Lakers have major decisions to make this offseason. They need to catch…


The Lakers road back to championship contention depends on whether they chose to accept a hard cap by pursuing sign-and-trades for other team’s free agents or opt to pay luxury taxes by re-signing all of their own free agents.

There are advantages to being hardcapped, namely being able to sign-and-trade for other teams’ free agents and being able to use the full $9.5 million Mid-Level and the $3.7 million Bi-Annual Exceptions to sign free agents. But being hardcapped has consequences. …


The only way the Los Angeles Lakers can upgrade their starting point guard, shooting guard, and center positions is to find trading partners able and willing to sign-and-trade for Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell.

Otherwise, the Lakers simple don’t have the trading chips to do more than fill one of those three starting positions. Right now, the Lakers’ only major tradeable contracts are Kuzma’s and KCP’s $13 million annual contracts. …


In the aftermath of the injuries and first round elimination, the Lakers face a daunting challenge this summer figuring how to pull off a major overhaul of their starting lineup when all they can actually afford is an oil change.

How successful Rob Pelinka and the Lakers’ front office are rebuilding the team’s starting lineup will depend on how smartly and innovatively they use sign-and-trade transactions both to send and receive free agent players. …

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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