Pacific Notes: Lakers, Knight, Kings

There’s pressure on the Lakers to get a second star, but it’s far from urgent, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report writes. So long as the franchise continues to practice patience, they’ll remain flexible enough to have options.

As things stand, the club has $5.7MM in cap space. That figure could grow to as much as $15.5MM if the club waives and stretches Luol Deng‘s contract over three seasons. They can get as high as $22.8MM if they can unload the deal altogether with “at least a first-rounder attached,” Pincus says. That flexibility would make a Brandon Ingram-for-Kawhi Leonard swap financially feasible.

Of course the Lakers could wait to see if a different trade for a star beckons, as reports suggest with Jimmy Butler and as is at least borderline conceivable with Damian Lillard.

An alternative to making a move this season would be giving center Brook Lopez the Lakers’ remaining $5.7MM of cap space on a one-year deal, retaining all of their young players in an audition to see who best fits with LeBron James, then going out shopping for a star next summer.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division tonight:

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38 thoughts on “Pacific Notes: Lakers, Knight, Kings

  1. all in ad

    Boogie should have been fakers second star. Turning away Randle…stupid. Rondo can’t shoot. Not a given that fakers make playoffs. Tragic johnson @ work!

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    • Compton

      Lol. The team is better than what he had last year. Let the hate flow through you.

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    • Dionis

      Magic is building a team that could help Lebron on the court so they could utilize him as a scorer. What they want to do is make Lebron into a scorer so he can catch Kareem’s scoring record in a Laker jersey, with guys like Lance and Rondo out there Lebron can play off ball and focus on defense and scoring without having to exert so much energy as a playmaker.

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      • victorg

        but LeBron is not really a off the ball scorer ? not a catch and shoot .. not gonna be coming off screens. I do think the defense is top notch though if you are talking about rondo Stephenson and bron on the court at same time.

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        • Natergater77

          I also don’t think this is better then what he had in CLE. Now if they keep the young nucleus and let them develop it can be. BUT….this is also now the West. His CLE team struggled at times to take the East. This team will not beat GS, Hou or either top West teams.

          They have to add or develop another player. It’s why I’ve maintained it will take at least 3 years. And if they don’t win by end of this contract Lebron maybe just call it a career. Where if they get 1 title before then he might play a couple more years to try to get his 5th and 6th titles.

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  2. Dionis

    Why can’t Lebron just play with what he has? It’s good enough.

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    • For what? 3rd in the West?

      This may shock you, but teams actually want to get better.

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      • Dionis

        Kuzma,Ingram,Pope,Ball, and Lance all fit with Lebron and so does Rondo.

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          • x%sure

            The Lakers should make the playoffs, and once there, will be dangerous. They don’t have to win a title in their first year to have had a good season.

            The signings are good except I would prefer Rondo stay in NOLA where he had something going that may not transfer.

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        • hiflew

          How do you know they fit? None of them have ever played with Lebron before.

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          • Connorsoxfan

            What he’s saying actually makes sense this time. On paper, these moves make sense. If they use the rest of their cap space on Ellington to add a shooter, or resign Lopez using the space and offer Seth Curry the minimum, it’d make more sense. They’re adding guys who can make plays to purely utilize Lebron as a scorer, which I think may ultimately prolong his career, but we’ll see. Rondo is an elite passer, he can’t shoot for crap, but you can’t deny the passing ability is there. Lance is a polarizing figure, but he can make plays. KCP is a prototypical 3 and D wing, but he’s also young with a bit of upside. The young guys have started to come into their own, and as a Celtics fan, I really like how LA has rebuilt their team.

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          • Z-A

            None of them can shoot, Pope shot like 40% once I think for part of a season.

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        • Z-A

          Pope was a waste if 12.5M. Lance got 3M too much. Rondo can always ball. Lance thinks hes magic with his passing.

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          • Dionis

            And you don’t have an eye for good playmakers. The Lakers clearly got Rondo,Lance, and KCP because they can all defend multiple positions and play aggressive defense. Saying KCP was a waste at 12 mil is absurd, he was arguably the Lakers best defender last season under Walton and is a phenomenal on ball defender.

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            • Natergater77

              Great they can defend. But you still have to get points to win. And as I said above teams built like this can win the East but not the West. There has to be another two way player with Lebron. This team will not win the West.

              Let’s say it was good enough to replace SA at 6th this year. Lebron could lead the team past #3 Portland, sure. But they wouldn’t have beat the Rockets in 2nd round and had some injury to a Rocket helped them do that they would have been overmatched by GS.

              No these are see Lebron I told you we be competitive moves while leaving room to go after Leonard, Butler, Thompson, Kyrie and others next year. Not a Laker or Lebron fan, but until he hangs up those Nike’s there is a chance down the road they get to a title. Just not next year

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              • Dionis

                They could win it all next year if Kuzma,Ingram, and Ball make strides. To beat the Warriors you have to play fast and play aggressive defense the way the Rockets did. The Lakers have the personnel to compete with the Warriors. Rondo,Ball,Ingram,Pope,Lance, and Lebron can all defend the perimeter which is what makes Golden State hard to stop.

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                • all in ad

                  Legal weed has its downside. Lakers win it all next year….delusional.

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                  • Natergater77

                    I think at this point he is trolling. First Rondo and Lance will be a ear older and slower. They are not the players they were 5 years ago. And there is a reason both have been bouncing around teams. At no point is anyone going to mistake Pope for elite, he’s good. Ingram is the player with most upside and I don’t see him making leap next year.

                    Just stop Dionis. If it’s a title in 2021 and Lebron goes out a champ be happy with that. The Lakers get a title, Lebron gets to say “Yeah Mike has 6, but I led 3 franchises to titles” And the NBA Universe is happy that someone other then GS won.

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                    • Dionis

                      I’m not trolling just look at how the Mavs got out of the West with a offense built around Dirk. The Lakers are doing the same with Lebron, they are building a team around Lebron so they can utilize him as a scorer while having defenders who can chase Curry and Klay around and keep them off the 3 point line. The Lakers are beating everyone in the West next season, they don’t need Kawhi.

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  3. gluedogg

    Seth Curry already signed with Portland a few days ago.

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  4. Get TERRENCE ROMEO from Philippines he’s a deadly shooter, can create his own shot, and have kyrie like handles.. GO For it LAKERS
    He can be 3rd string PG, he can play off ball too.

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  5. Thronson5

    Of course people are going to hate. LeBron doesn’t want the same team he has in Cleveland, they are trying things different here which is smart. I mean losing Randle stings but we replaced him LeBron. Can’t be mad about that lol.we kept the rest of our young players. The Lakers were better last year year than the year before and better this year than the last year. You get these young guys getting better each year and now you add LeBron mixed in with guys who play hard and bring passion to the team like Rondo. I’m not saying this team is going far but they will make the playoffs and the younger guys should improve again this year. Give them a tears of the playoffs and they should be even hungrier the following season. I say we try to sign one of the free agents like Klay, Butler or Leonard next offseason and keep the rest of the young guys we have. People can say they won’t win anything but you never know. The Rockets were one win swag from knocking the Warriors off and the Warriors aren’t going to be able to keep this team together much longer. Doubt they’ll be able to keep Klay and Cousins next off season.

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  6. Eric Lord

    The Lakers aren’t winning the West this year anyway. Lebron can’t carry them to the Western Conference title like he did Cleveland in the East. That isn’t knocking him, but the West is a lot tougher than the East. He isn’t going to be enough to bring them all the way from missing the playoffs to the finals in one year. The Lakers would be smart to be patient & keep their young players. They can always move one or two of them out later if they don’t mesh with Lebron. Look to next off-season to add another star.

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  7. Steve

    As far fas the Lakers….. with news that Butler and Lillard are interested in being traded, they should be patient! The rumored package SA wants for KL is asking to much! I’m well aware that KL was a top 5 player before his injury, but he is on a one year deal, you don’t give up Brandon, 2 1rst and 2 Swaps for that! The only player I’d give that up for is the real 2nd best player Anthony Davis and he has 2 yrs and an option left. Since he’s unavailable, I won’t be giving all that up!

    DL and Butler are both interesting pieces, depending on price. I don’t think LA would entertain giving up multiple starters and draft picks for either. And they shouldn’t! I’d guess Magic would be willing to part with Ball and picks for DL. Idk if that gets it done, but he did send a message to the Ball camp by signing Rondo! For Butler I’d guess BI and a pick or two, however I think they would regret that in short fashion!

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  8. Why is everybody obsessed with shooters, I rather playmakers like the Lakers are getting. You cannot beat GSW by doing what they do, small ball, shooting, they are the best at it, you beat them by doing things different, like big line-ups, playmakers, just try anything to make GSW feel uncomfortable, if you play like them, they happy with it knowing no one can beat them at their game.

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    • victorg

      actually no one has beat GSW in the playoffs since Durant was added … LeBron who I am not a fan of DOES have a high basketball IQ and I believe he thinks having 5 guys on the court who can guard 4 spots and switch without missing a beat is the way to go hence the long armed players he is amasing he will play the 4 spot for the most part I believe especially against gsw.

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    • x%sure

      That story said they’re looking for a veteran 3… and did not mention Shumpert. He can run with Fox and will likely beat out whoever they can manage to get.
      Hield is a better match with the 6-5 Shump, more physical.

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  9. Lenneal Henderson

    Kawhi has now outplayed himself and may have to remain with Pop. First and foremost no one knows what his health status is. Then he said he wanted to be traded but he obviously wanted to be on a team where he was the star. So King James went to the Lakers and that meant that Kawhi wouldn’t be the star there so now his camp is putting out rumors that he wants to go to the Clippers. He is not an unrestricted free agent and therefore does not get to pick and choose where he goes. Teams are aware he is a 1 year rental and his health status is still an issue so he has no cards. He can play second banana to the King with the Lakers, go to the Clippers and prove himself, or remain with the Spurs.

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    • Or go to the Sixers, and be close to his uncle (agent). Sixers have assets to make the best offer now that the Celtics are apparently out.

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      • Sam Amick says today he expects Kawho to be dealt by training camp.

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  10. justinept

    Deng and Ingram to the Wolves for Butler makes some sense. It’s probable that the Wolves are the only that values Deng as anything more than a “stretch” candidate – which says more about Thibs infatuation with former Bulls than anything else.

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    • x%sure

      That does make sense, but it will take more.
      IDK how serious the Irving + Butler plan is.

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  11. Kenleyfornia74

    Lakers should have Deng play PF off the bench if they cant deal him. He was actuallu useful there for Miami

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  12. Lakers are offering Lonzo and Lavar along with Ingram (joking) to anyone who will take them both. Seriously today’s Indy Star has an article on Lance Stephenson. Says the Pacers are only team he has played good for and may be back.

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    • x%sure

      Offering for what?
      It’s funny you put the “seriously” with Lance and not with the Laker shopping. If that’s true they’re moving on from Kawhi.

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