Lakers Notes: Bullock, Walton, LeBron, Wagner

The Lakers haven’t exactly played their best basketball since adding Reggie Bullock to their rotation at the trade deadline. The team is just 2-9 in games that Bullock has appeared in so far, and the veteran sharpshooter hasn’t been at his best during that stretch either — his .333 3PT% is well below his career rate (.394). Nonetheless, Bullock has conveyed a desire to remain in Los Angeles going forward, as Ron Gutterman of relays.

“I would love to be back here with the Lakers,” said Bullock, who will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. “I was a fan of this organization pretty much my whole life, and the connection me and ‘Bron (LeBron James) are building, it’s continuing to build trust. We’ll see how it plays out in the summer.”

Although Bullock has only played 11 games as a Laker, the club will have his Bird rights as a result of his previous contract with the Pistons. To retain those Bird rights, the Lakers would have to keep Bullock’s $4.75MM cap hold on their books this summer until they work out a new deal.

If the Lakers need to renounce Bullock to create cap room for a marquee free agent, that wouldn’t necessary rule out a return, but the club would be limited to re-signing him using any leftover cap space, the room exception, or the minimum salary exception.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • Head coach Luke Walton is considered likely to lose his job at season’s end, despite once being viewed as the sort of coach who could stick in L.A. for the next 10 or 15 years. Matt John of Basketball Insiders argues that Walton doesn’t deserve the blame for the Lakers’ disappointing season, while Bill Oram of The Athletic presents a case for how Walton has been undermined and betrayed by team management.
  • In order to move forward, the Lakers first need to take a long look in the mirror, ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz writes in a deep dive on the franchise. Arnovitz criticizes owner Jeanie Buss for her recent claim that the media is the biggest challenge facing the Lakers, suggesting that the statement makes the team appear incapable of self-reflection. The Lakers are “so infatuated with the glory of their brand that they forget about the essence of their product,” Arnovitz contends.
  • After a surprisingly unsuccessful first season in Los Angeles, it’s impossible for LeBron James to predict what will come next, says Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. However, his friends and former teammates expect him to bounce back from a disappointing 2018/19 season. “Just having that break, being able to reassess and come back really, really highly motivated, I think it’s going to be big for him,” Kevin Love said. “If you get ‘Bron highly motivated, anything can happen.” Dwyane Wade, meanwhile, offered the following assessment: “This is definitely going to make him hungrier for what he’s trying to accomplish next year.”
  • Lakers rookie Moritz Wagner, who racked up a career-high 22 points on Saturday, is hoping to take advantage of an increased role down the stretch, as Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register details.
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10 thoughts on “Lakers Notes: Bullock, Walton, LeBron, Wagner

  1. theking24

    I hope bullock comes back. He hasn’t gotten as many open looks as he should be getting. He’s a great shooter hope we get him back

  2. Walton needs to go! They need a coach that knows what it takes to win.
    Lebron just needs to keep playing the superhuman game he has shown this year, that is all he can do, the rest needs to be his team mates pulling his weight, LBJ is more than pulling his as a top player in the league. He just can’t/shouldn’t win all by himself.

    • kcsocks2112

      Sorry I don’t understand your comment. Are you saying Luke doesn’t know how to win? He played in two championship teams with the Lakers as a player under the all time winning coach in history and also won as an assistant coach in the NBA, knowing how to win is not the problem. Also Luke is not the problem. The problem is the front office and LeBron for the team they chose to assemble for him to coach!

    • D$!LLKU$H-og

      Walton will be the Azazel goat. Pelinka and Magic will be the sacrificial lamb. LeBron is the King who was promised so we all need to put some speck on his name and praise his godliness.

  3. OCTraveler

    Firing Walton is like trading in the car because it is out of gas. He is a talented young coach who last season saw his team waste a number one on an over-rated player with excess baggage and then has seen this season begin with a diva who has management around his fingers and ending with more injuries than a MASH unit. Wooden, Knight, Auerbach, Jackson or Popovich couldn’t control this freaking circus!

    • He’s not right for the job just like Magic and pelinka.! We have to start over again! Clean house! I’m a fan but w/ this regime I see Dark days ahead!!

  4. Magic has been in charge since 2017, but it only became “his” team (on the court) this year, and – bottom line – he never wanted Walton to be the HC of his team, or at least the one he was putting together in LA.

    Magic should have been allowed to let Walton go the day after they signed LBJ. By that, I don’t mean Walton deserved it (he didn’t), only that it was inevitable. That Walton hadn’t met with LBJ prior to the signing was a bad sign. Magic and LBJ laughing it off was even worse. Once the FO floated a stupid report about being unhappy a week or so into the season, it was all but over. After they later floated a story about how Walton wouldn’t be fired because the owner wouldn’t permit it, he was dead man walking. Walton wasted a year of his coaching career trying to play a game that he could never win (short of outlier over performance).

  5. Not sure how I feel. Love Luke and he had a great record when Kerr was out. Had a great span of games following first 3 losses. Was .667 for next 20 or so games. Then we started getting hurt. Magic and Pelinka. Love them but pretty disappointed in the two trades they made. I’m was high on Svi. I think he can play. He can pass and rebound. His shooting will come around. And how can you not like Zu? Not sure what to think.

    • whodatcoon

      Magic, like MJ, was an absolutely great basketball player, but not suited to run an NBA front office.

  6. bennyg

    Will Magic get in an old friend to come and coach….
    Would Larry Bird coach an old rival team!?
    That’s my prediction

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