Lakers Finding Resistance In Making Deals

If the Lakers are going to build the NBA’s next superteam, they shouldn’t expect much help from their competitors, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.

L.A., which hopes to have enough cap room to offer two max deals and is the preferred destination for Spurs star Kawhi Leonard, ran into some resistance at last night’s draft. GM Rob Pelinka was hoping to acquire a pick early in the second round, but he couldn’t find another franchise that was willing to trade.

“So it’s not like teams are saying, ‘Oh, I’m not going to do a deal with the Lakers,’ but I do think when you have 16 banners, there’s going to be a natural envy from your competitors because you’re sitting at the top of the food chain, but that’s just life in general,” Pelinka said.

That follows a report on Thursday that the Lakers reached out to San Antonio last week about Leonard’s availability, but the Spurs “basically shut the door” on any trade talks. Leonard, who is unhappy with how the team handled his quad injury, will have the chance to opt out of his current contract and become a free agent next summer.

Leonard’s availability may affect how the Lakers plan their future, as Pelinka said the team will focus its resources on 2019 if it can’t attract its free agent targets this year. Those include Thunder forward Paul George, who has also talked about returning to L.A. to play for his hometown team, and Cavaliers star LeBron James.

“We do feel like the road is a flexible road for us; if July 1 happens with one or two superstar players, great,” Pelinka added. “If it doesn’t, we love this young core that we’re developing and we know 2019 could present some amazing opportunities as well. So really any road we go down we’re really confident in, but obviously for Lakers fans we want to be good, we want to be back in the playoffs where Lakers deserve to be and competing for a championship.”

Along with chasing their desired targets, the Lakers have a few free agents of their own to be concerned about. Julius Randle is in line for a huge raise, although he is restricted and L.A. can match any offer, and Isaiah Thomas, Brook Lopez, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Channing Frye are all unrestricted.

One move the Lakers won’t make is taking a chance on LiAngelo Ball, brother of point guard Lonzo Ball, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne (Twitter link). LiAngelo has been informed that he will not be part of L.A.’s summer league team, with one source telling Shelburne, “obviously there’s more to it than basketball.” She takes that as a signal that the organization doesn’t want any deeper involvement with the Ball family and its patriarch, LaVar.

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36 thoughts on “Lakers Finding Resistance In Making Deals

  1. Reflect

    Sounds like an excuse for bad dealmaking skills. I doubt teams are hurting themselves just to spite the Lakers.

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    • x%sure

      The Spurs are not going to deal with them. They’re not going to be steamrolled by a player. Lakers don’t have anything that could cause regret in missing. It’s ha-ha funny that Laker fans think Deng will be on Spurs roster next year

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    • theking24

      Lol it’s obvious teams don’t want the lakers being good again. It’s not hard to see teams not wanting to make a deal with them

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      • Reflect

        Weird, other teams had no problem helping the Celtics be good again. Celtics made several successful trades over the last 5 years.

        It’s time for the Lakers to look in the mirror.

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        • z3rogs

          That’s right. 17 banners are at the top of the food chain. Lakers still looking up.

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    • Chris

      Yeah teams are so happy the Lakers keep striking late in the draft (Clarkson, Nance Jr., Kuzma, Hart). No team wants to be the one that put the Lakers back into significance. Just like you guys run to comment section cause you’re jealous

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      • You think that quartet of players could make any team significant? Maybe a college team.

        How about “striking” early? How many teams in draft lottery history have been lucky enough to win the #2 spot in three straight drafts and still finish the following season with one of the 10 worst records? One.

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  2. TJECK109

    Seriously he just said that teams look and say well they have 16 banners and they envy the lakers so they won’t deal with them? When was the last of the 16 won? The way the team has been run teams should be lined up to deal with them. Poor excuse

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    • Where were the first 5 won? Maybe that’s why teams don’t deal with the Wolves.

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  3. Dionis

    Lebron and Durant are signing with the Lakers. It’s inebitable:

    1. The commercial they did together in the backseat of a vehicle.

    2. Trapping Curry together at the all-star game during the last seconds.

    3. Lebron selecting Durant first for the all-star game.

    4. Bob Myers’s joke about KD not being worth the max like Steph flopping.

    It will happen folks.

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    • jacobsigel1025

      LeBron and Durant would not be a cohesive unit on the floor

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      • Jeff Zanghi

        It certainly wouldn’t be a traditional unit… but there’s no way in the world that two of the best players in the NBA on the same team wouldn’t be a good one.

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      • SoCalBrave

        if Durant can coexist with Curry and play well, he and LeBron will have no problem playing together.

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      • imindless
        imindless

        Jacob you are high, they are a perfect pair. I dont think durant leaves what will like be another few titles to ply in la but as far as the court one is a spot up shooter and one is a great facilitator, it works

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  4. Kenleyfornia74

    When Kawhi leaves the Spurs in FA and they get nothing back in return they will regret not taking a Lakers package. No one else is trading anything good for him when the writing is on the wall about his opt out

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      • Kenleyfornia74

        Lets be real. Its known they said anyone in their young core is expendable. The Spurs could pick their guy if they wanted.

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  5. Sheldon Bowen

    Maybe everyone knows you guys are tampering and doing back room deals with other teams players under contract. Why the hell would anyone help you when you’re clearly hurting other teams.

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  6. Delusional fans are one thing, but when it extends to the FO, it screams amateur hour.

    Fact is, teams don’t seem to care one way or another (maybe they should). The Lakers were able to dump two (2) “unmovable” contracts (Mozgov and Clarkson) to clear cap space, without giving up a draft pick – in fact, they got a 1st round pick in each deal. The Cavs even helped them clear space which might be used to sign LBJ.

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    • moazetongue

      You seem to smooth over that the lakers also gave the Cavs Larry Nance Jr and the Cavs did this to dump IT as he’s a cancer. Talk to me in three years to see if that “1st” pick is still around.

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  7. WazBazbo

    “I feel really, really bad for the poor Lakers and how miserably they’re being treated…”

    …said nobody, ever.

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  8. bowserhound

    The Spurs part is such a non-story. $100 says they ‘shut the door’ on all teams that called because they still think they can get Kawhi to change his mind. That is probably all that was said during the phone call to begin with. Not much animosity there.

    The D-League team will really suffer from not moving up a few spots in the 2nd round, oh no!

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  9. Jordan

    It’s all good. I would be shocked if Paul George walks from a max deal and leave 40 mill on the table. With that being said don’t be shocked if George re signs with okc, LeBron save face and signs a 1 year deal with Cleveland knowing the lakers aren’t ready to land anyone of the big free agents this year and gos for another title in Cleveland. Waits until 2019 then they would have Leonard coming without giving anyone up and hope to sign Klay Thompson. We will see

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    • Kenleyfornia74

      George already owns a house in Calabasas, made millions in his NBA time and whatever made from endorsements. The diffrence of 40 million dollars is not much

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  10. Bubba

    Wow I can’t believe Liangelo and the Train Wreck Mouth Piece has been left off the summer team. I thought he and his brother were the future of the Lakers.

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  11. Dodgethis

    The top of the food chain, what a joke. The Lakers and Celtics have never been relevant when there is any competition in the league. The Celtics won theirs before the league was even a real pro league. The Lakers are the only ones who think the Lakers are great, and I doubt anyone wouldn’t deal with then because decades ago they won a bunch of meaningless rings. I nearly spit takes reading that nonsense.

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    • Compton

      Decades ago? Maybe you should check your facts before you go on a delusional rant. No team in the NBA comes close to the Celtics and Lakers when it comes to relevance.

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    • sportznut1000

      i know your trolling but ill bite. so you mention “meaningless rings” i didnt realize some rings meant more than others when we total up championships. if thats the case then i guess as a bay area fan the giants have more meaningful titles than the yankees or the warriors have more than the celtics? hahahaha i wish

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  12. Looks that there are some jealous fans around. Anyway to me is pretty clear that teams will not help the Lakers because they are scared/worried, as now they are living in the shadow of a superteam that totally dominates the league, if the Lakers get away with what they are trying to do, then might well be 2 monster teams, that no one can even come close to beat, so yeah teams ain’t helping because they running scared, instead of trying to compete themselves. Go Lakers someone has to beat Golden State.

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