Western Notes: Lakers, Beyer, Grant, Morey

The Lakers front office felt they couldn’t fight fire with fire to overtake the Warriors, so their offseason acquisitions beyond LeBron James were aimed toward another approach, as Kevin Ding explains in an extensive piece posted on the team’s website. By signing Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo and Michael Beasley, the Lakers signaled that they want to rise to the top in a different way. “To try to play the Warriors in their own game is a trap,” GM Rob Pelinka told Ding. “No one is going to beat them at their own game. That’s why we wanted to add these elements: defense, toughness and depth—and try to look at areas where we’ll have an advantage.”

We have more from around the Western Conference:

  • The Thunder have added Bob Beyer to Billy Donovan‘s coaching staff, according to a team press release. Beyer spent the last four seasons on Stan Van Gundy’s Pistons staff, serving as the associate head coach the past two seasons. His NBA coaching experience dates back to the 2003/04 season as an assistant with the Raptors.
  • Thunder forward Jerami Grant anticipates a bigger role during the upcoming season after signing a multi-year contract, as he told Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype in a Q&A session. Grant appeared in 81 games last season, averaging 8.4 PPG and 3.9 RPG in 20.3 MPG. He anticipates even more playing time with the departure of Carmelo Anthony. “I’m definitely excited to be able to play extensive minutes and play important minutes on a contender. Getting a chance to show what you can do while being part of an organization like this, being part of a team like this, it means a lot. They’ve shown a lot of trust in me by giving me this new contract and [and a bigger role].” Grant signed a three-year, $27MM contract to remain with OKC.
  • Rockets GM Daryl Morey is just as curious as anyone how DeMarcus Cousins will fit in with the Warriors, as he told radio host Dan Patrick in comments relayed by NBC Sports’ Dan Feldman. “They’ll probably figure out how to make it work, but it’s a little bit hard on paper to figure out how to make it work. But we do that well and so do they, obviously. They’re gonna be a tough out again, obviously. They’re arguably the best team in NBA history,” Morey said.
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16 thoughts on “Western Notes: Lakers, Beyer, Grant, Morey

  1. x%sure

    The word has fallen into disuse for PC reasons, but the best word to describe the Lakers’ player preference model is ‘uppity’– as opposed to the sort of ‘corporate’ profile of GSW.

    As I’ve said, it’s Lebron advocating for players of a type that he could not get in Cleveland. Gilbert/Griffin/Altman did not go for players with a ‘questionable’ or even ‘quite a’ character label. (JR Smith was a throw-in in a trade, and Lebron kept him protected.)

    Lebron/Pelinka may have gone overboard with the concept but they only gave out one-year contracts, and next offseason, Lebron won’t be thinking about CLE anymore, and anyway will lack the leverage he has this offseason. But he probably got enough fun personnel to keep him entertained in the farther future.

    The LA FO isn’t going to say all that though, they will talk about toughness and defense and reclaim their authority.

    • Dionis

      Kawhi Leonard is coming to the Lakers next summer, there is a 80 percent chance it happens. This is nothing like the George situation because George is not like Kawhi. George just wanted to play somewhere he could compete for a ring and he can do that with Russ, Kawhi I think is fine with playing under Lebron for 3 years and taking over after his contract is over.

      • x%sure

        You were making a case for Toronto earlier. IDK, he is much in demand, but I would not be surprised if he comes up with something psychosomatic in the muscles again.
        Raptors of course will roll out the doctors like waiters at a multicourse meal!

      • jimbenwal

        I believe his chances of going to the Lakers is 1 in 30. There are 30 teams. I am no math wizzard but I am pretty sure thats not 80%. If you want to get really crazy you could say 50%. Its only 2 choices the lakers or somewhere/nowhere else.

  2. Dionis

    Cedi Osman was working out with Lebron,Kawhi, and Durant today. For those of you wondering LA’s plans, Lebron is already in Kawhi and KD’s ear so one of them join him in LA next summer. Lakers aren’t winning nothing this year, they’ll be a second round exit and get put out in 6 games by Golden State and Kawhi will come over in the summer.

    • James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and a whole bunch of other NBA guys were there too for a tournament. Media picked out these 3 to start something. Nothing there. Just a bunch of NBA guys playing in the summer.

  3. Lakersfan99

    I really hope the Lakers let Ingram and Ball run point still with LeBron there. As a Lonzo fan everyone says he’s a bust but he put up good numbers and had a better rookie year than Giannis and Kobe

    • Dionis

      Don’t get your hopes up, this is wash year for the Lakers. They’ll get put out early in the playoffs and Kawhi will sign with them. 5 year max for Kawhi, Lakers likely 2-3 peat.

      • Lakersfan99

        Yea all these 1 year deals show that. I personally don’t want Kawhi with him and LeBron on the same team it will be a circus and u add in Lavar yea I’ll pass. No doubt Kawhi is a top 3 player but who knows what he will do could stay in Toronto

    • paladin

      They are not paying Rondo 9 million to hold Zo’s Burger King bag and keep it warm. Rondo gets the minutes and then “Issues” will arise. Rondo plays Defense and knows how to run a NBA team. Coach Luke preaches D while Lebron doesn’t play tough D anymore while playing so many minutes. Lebron can play great D but has put it in back burner in last few seasons. I would like to see him play 30/32 minutes and play good, hard defense like his Heat days. Lonzo needs to learn defense and has to play more than 50 games. Mitchell/Tatum played like a 100 games each and look like durable, tough players. Zo looks like he is taking way too much creatine, and looks puffed up rather than built up. I think he may end up on the Trader Joe list of Bye Bye Zo. Just wait until Rondo gets the minutes and daddykins Lavar starts running his piehole. It cannot last as constructed, Lebron will tell Magic when it is time to move on from Zo & lavar. How else do you explain 9 million to a vet point guard when you have this supposedly super star point guard who needs the minutes. Magic knows he screwed the pooch and is going to work an easy way out. With Zo gone, it belongs to Brandon & Rondo. Bye Zo

      • x%sure

        You write like we’re sitting at a bar, I like it. The Lakers will be on TV a lot this year, I’ll check out that creatine build… Maybe the old man slips into his cereal milk!

  4. I think the Lakers are doing it the right way, all the teams trying to match up with GSW, will never beat them, if you play their game they are unbeatable, I have been saying that for a very long time, you have to make them match you at your game, play big ball, lots of playmakers, whatever it takes but you have to have an approach completely different than the rest of the league is the only way to win, by playing a different brand of ball. Hence why I keep saying Lakers are the #2 WC seed. I do too agree with the Lakers been very careful with who they sign, you don’t want them to curtail the progress of Ball or Ingram. Specially Ball had a very good rookie season, really surpassed the expectations on him. A real stud.

    • Los Angeles is not better than Houston or Golden State. Only a LeBron fan would say so. You need to stop thinking you are smarter than these general managers. If you were, you’d be doing their jobs. You aren’t.

  5. slapnuts

    “and try to look at areas where we’ll have an advantage”… don’t look too much harder, one doesn’t exist

  6. Reflect

    I don’t know why these teams keep announcing their plan to beat the Warriors like 300 days in advance. What ever happened to keeping your cards hidden until you need them?

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