Lakers Notes: Russell, Randle, D-Fenders

After a promising start to the season, the Lakers are now in a tie for the second-worst record in the NBA, as our 2016/17 NBA Reverse Standings show. While there was some optimism in Los Angeles in the fall that the team could compete for a playoff spot this season, the Lakers have lost 22 of 28 games since the start of December, effectively taking them out of the running.

As Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com (Insider-only link) details, D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle have slowed down after hot starts, and it’s not clear whether either of those players – or Brandon Ingram – is a future star. If there’s no future star currently on the roster, the Lakers may have to hope they can keep their 2017 first-round pick (top-three protected) and land a player that fits that bill in the lottery. As Pelton observes, the league’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement will make it less likely that a top player will change teams in free agency, so the draft looks like L.A.’s best bet to land an impact player.

Let’s round up a few more Lakers notes…

  • With Kobe Bryant no longer on the roster, the Lakers are lacking a definitive leader, writes Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Times. “We don’t have a guy who’s naturally that person for us, so it needs to come from multiple people,” said head coach Luke Walton.
  • In the post-Kobe era, David Aldridge of NBA.com takes an interesting and in-depth look at the Lakers’ current situation, including Jeanie Buss‘ views on the franchise.
  • The Los Angeles D-Fenders are being rebranded as the South Bay Lakers at the conclusion of the 2016/17 D-League season, the team announced this week in a press release. “This is an opportunity to leverage the iconic Lakers brand, celebrate our amazing community and emphasize our franchise’s accomplishments over the last 10 years while we continue to compete for an NBA D-League championship,” said Joey Buss, the president and CEO of the Lakers’ D-League affiliate.
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9 thoughts on “Lakers Notes: Russell, Randle, D-Fenders

  1. Dionis

    So much trash talk coming from Russell about the best was yet to come but he has been everything but consistent, 15 ppg? Come on give me a break, Randle is good but he is no franchise player or cornerstone. Ingram should be the only player they keep and groom, trade Russell he is not worth it.

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    • Salvatore Tarantino

      Russell has good per 36 min numbers. They need to move a guard and give him a full workload. He could get 20 ppg. Stop hating, its year 2 for him and year 1 under Walton.

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  2. aarongill

    Tank, draft Lonzo Ball, trade clarkson for Noel. Mozzy and deng contracts screwed us. Ingram will be a superstar mark my words love his game not sure about the laziness and inconsistency of Randle and Russell.

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  3. Where are all the Laker fans on Facebook saying that the young core would be a 6-8 seed in the playoffs….

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  4. williboy10

    Randle is a complementary impact player. Ingram could be a star. Russell could be too but attitude might get in the way

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    • Salvatore Tarantino

      you serious? Randle is a playmaker. Potential is there. Hes young, put up a double-double in limited minutes last year.

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  5. Dretorade

    these kids are 19&20 years old. Deep breath and relax, all young teams have growing pains.

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    • Jeremy

      In the eyes of fans they don’t want to wait. They want trades so the team could win now

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      • Dretorade

        I agree, I’m a Lakers fan and it is frustrating to watch the growing pains. Making the playoffs this year would have jumped the process ahead 1 year but was 2 steps away. We went from what like 15 wins last year, this year 30+ should be a goal, next year should be the playoff push. It sucks and I want to compete immediately too but it’s his the NBA works. look at GSW, took them years, taking a step forward each year. Remember Kobe didn’t hit the ground running, he came off the bench year 1. It took Mike Conley like 3-4 years to become an all-star level pg. It just takes time. And moz and Deng Deals were for 2 reasons veteran leadership and the cap floor, you’re required to spend so much money.

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