Pacific Notes: Lakers, Bridges, Labissiere, Clippers

The Lakers ensured themselves a successful offseason when they signed LeBron James, but they still need to fill a vacancy at center, writes Matt John of Basketball Insiders. The addition of free agent JaVale McGee doesn’t really solidify the position, and the only other choices on the roster are rookie Moe Wagner and Ivica Zubac.

With David West and Brandan Wright as the best free agents left on the market, John identifies several potential trade targets, including Tristan Thompson, James’ former teammate in Cleveland. Thompson is a physical rebounder and defender with whom James had a good rapport. However, John notes that he may not be available unless Cleveland decides to rebuild.

Other possibilities include the Bismack Biyombo, who finds himself in a center logjam after being traded to Charlotte, the Bucks’ John Henson, the Bulls’ Robin Lopez, the Magic’s Nikola Vucevic and the Hawks’ Dewayne Dedmon.

There’s more news from the Pacific Division:

  • Suns rookie swingman Mikal Bridges was a little disappointed he didn’t play more in the summer league, James Blancarte of Basketeball Insiders reports. “It’s tough you know. Coming in mentally, you don’t know what the coach is going to do and how they are going to play you,” Bridges told Blancarte. “Couple of games, not playing as much as I thought I was going to be [playing]. Just staying mentally [tough], going through that.” Bridges averaged 6.2 PPG and 2.6 RPG in 20 MPG during five Las Vegas outings. He will also likely have wait his turn during his rookie campaign but Phoenix thought enough of him to swing a draft-night trade with the Sixers, Blancarte notes.
  • Kings big man Skal Labissiere is looking to improve his durability during his offseason workouts, Jason Wise of the team’s website relays. Memphis-area trainer Raheem Shabazz has made Instagram posts showing the work Labissiere is putting in as he prepares for his third NBA season.
  • Clippers lottery picks Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson showed flashes of potential in summer league games but they were far from perfect, according to Keith Smith of RealGM. Gilgeous-Alexander has a solid all-around game but needs lot of work with his shot. Robinson has to focus more on the defensive end, Smith continues, while undrafted big man Angel Delgado struggled on the perimeter. However, Delgado displayed strong rebounding instincts and toughness on the interior, Smith adds.
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29 thoughts on “Pacific Notes: Lakers, Bridges, Labissiere, Clippers

  1. x%sure

    Alan Williams. Or the Cavs could sign him after the Deng/Hart–TT trade. Kardashian nation would love it!

      • x%sure

        TThompson would be their starter. Hart is 2nd string maybe 3rd (KCP, Lance S), Deng no string.

        • imindless

          You are delusional. Hart is a starter and on an cheap contact. Deng for thompson and two second rounders would be enough hell even give them zubac too. Anymore would be a rip dude puts up 5.8 points a game lol.

        • Kenleyfornia74

          The Lakers have no depth at C so of course he would start. Doesnt change the fact his contract is bad. There is 0 reason to give up Hart just to swap contracts

          • x%sure

            Teams field players, not contracts, and if the Lakers want to improve their product, they would start TT. Mcgee has asthma or something and Wagner is a rook with no paint presense.

            The Lakers could offer Deng, Zubac and 2 seconds, but if the Cavs do not accept that, which is likely, the Lakers have a hole at the 5.

            Thompson does not need to score to be effective; he needs to be healthy & motivated as his strength is interior movement.

            Hart is not starting. Perhaps you could familiarize yourself with the roster instead of dreaming. He’s not the one they will be trying to jam into the lineup either– that would be Ingram. Summer league is over.

  2. I’m thinking more like J.R. and Tristan for Ingram, Kuzma, 2 first round picks, and the right to swap 2 first round picks. Tell LeBron he stuck the Cavs with those contracts. He can have them back.

    • agentx

      Let it go. LeBron doesn’t care whether you or anyone else thinks that “he stuck the Cavs with those contracts.”

        • I give no fox

          Clearly. He had to open a school for at risk youth to further his ego. His charitable contributions around the world and being a role model on and off the court as the face of the league are just covers for his selfishness. Seriously, where does this egomaniac get off. He should just shut up and dribble, right Mio?

          • Sirsleepit

            Regardless, why should a pro basketball player give a single flying F about the contracts his former FO handed out? AND better yet, how is it his problem?

  3. greg1

    I see a big man on a one year cheap deal like West. The Lakers obviously are not chasing a title this year, and will likely stretch Deng if they can’t find someone to take on his deal with sweeteners thrown in to open up additional space for next summer. Adding TT and stretching him, at year’s end, knowing him and LBJ have a relationship does not make sense.

  4. Man that list of centers sucks they are all bat to very bad players, maybe Lopez is just acceptable from the bench but the rest, just bums.
    The only exception is Vucevic, now he is very good, if the Lakers could get him, even for just a year that would be a great addition that could very well cement their #2 spot on the west & get ever closer to GSW.
    Because the Lakers are so obviously chasing a title this year, haven’t seen a team getting so good in an offseason since Cleveland when LBJ came back.

    • frankgrimes

      Dedmon isn’t a bum, he’s even added a little range on his shot. I was kinda hoping he opted out and the lakers signed him.

    • Funny. Houston got real good when they added Chris Paul last year. It would be so funny if LeBron got injured. You guys brag so much, he’d almost deserve it. I’m just glad everybody else doesn’t go gaga over players. GSW is one of the teams I like, but I’m not going to go radical over them.

      • dust44

        So u r saying u want to c the best player in the world get hurt because he left the Cavs? That’s about as ridiculous as any statement I’ve seen on here. Get over it. I’m from Ohio and I’ve said it 100 times that he was right to leave both times. He had zero help the first time and still got to the finals. And last year his best teammate was Love and he plays literally zero D.

        Besides this joker.. Mo Wagner will probably end up starting and having a very good year. He’s a lot like Love but younger and can play D

    • x%sure

      Good or “bum”, all those centers would improve the Lakers. Sorry that’s just where their roster is at. They have another move to make.

      • x%sure

        And if the Lakers want to play Ingram at PF, they even more need a paint-controlling “traditional” center like all the final four teams used– TT, Capela, Bynes, & whoever GSW ran out.

        I don’t even know what people mean by a “modern” center. There’s a word for that: forward.

  5. acarneglia

    If Charlotte could get LA to attach picks or young players to Dengs contract for Biyombo that would get something done

  6. Sports

    Why the hell would the lakers trade for Thompson? that’s the most ridiculous suggestion.

  7. Detlef kempf

    Was I the only one who saw what Javale did in the finals and throughout the year when he played? The warriors were most dangerous with him in the lineup, he is one of the longest and athletic players the nba has, he has good hands to catch lobs and finish, he blocks shots and changes shots, he tips out offensive rebounds, gets tough boards in traffic, runs the floor hard, and showed on the switch he can use length to stay with guards and challenge shots. He puts pressure on the defense and with lakers passers and playmakers he will be great for them if he stays healthy. He has asthma so he can only do it for 20min max but that’s enough I imagine they will play small ball a lot anyway with lebron kuzma Ingram lonzo and then rondo, lance, hart, and the guy I’m looking forward to is Svi if he gets to play he has big potential he is 6’8 lights out shooter, good defender and his ability off the dribble is underrated he is good athlete too, and the lakers need guys who play off the ball and get open shots or back cuts. The warriors are so good because all guys bring ball up, play off ball, they set every combination of screens for eachother, they put everyone at different spots on court and they move and cut hard. Lebron played off the ball and cut hard in miami but in Cleveland he didn’t do that as well I think he will start that again with lakers. If lakers need another center they can find someone cheap that’s athletic and good finisher that’s all they need

    • paladin

      Looks like you’re the only one. At this point, not really a hot potato type idea but who knows. I think it is a bit of a stretch to imply that he was the key to their success. GSW has a way of making avg players appear better than avg. with their system. Just sayin

  8. wok_king_in_la

    I would love to see Luol Deng play with Lebron this year and enter the euro step competition during the all star break.

  9. paladin

    Matt John of BI contends that JaVale does not ”solidify” the center position for the Lakers. He was elevated to starting center for the World Champions of the association! So how big of an upgrade does a center need to be to consider the center position solidified. If he was good enough to win a title starting for GSW, he is probably good enough for the Lakers. Good Gravy

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