Magic and Pelinka Make Their First Move and I Hate It.

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SPQR
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Those who have read me for many years know I ripped and tore at Mitch Kupchak forever, for the stupid, silly moves he made that were in now keeping with reality or the best long term interests of this franchise.

So nobody was happier when he and Jim Buss were deposed and replaced by Jeanie, Magic and Pelinka. Now I wasn't happy because that particular triumvirate replaced the old guard, just happy that Mitch and Jim were finally gone. I had reservations about all three of the new directors of the Lakers fortunes.

So now the first power move has been made by our new brain trust and I have to say, I don't like it.

We are trading Russell and Mozgov for Brooks Lopez and the 27th pick in the draft.

I understand them desperately trying to unload Mozgov's contract. It is really handcuffing this team and will for years. But one also has to be realistic about the state of the NBA today and what is achievable and what is not.

The fact is, Golden State, with their players, their system, the age of their team and their salary cap situation, barring catastrophic injury, will be winning the NBA title for the next two years or more.

So what is the point of getting Brooks Lopez? And why trade such a young player as Russell who's best years are way ahead, you know, when Golden State is finally starting to fade from age or players leaving?

There is another consideration here. What becomes of Zubac? This is just a kid who really shined in his first year. He showed starting potential in all areas of the game and on both sides of the floor. Like Russell, his best years are far off, or in other words, will come just at the right time.

So now what? Is he relegated to the bench? Do the Lakers see moving him to forward? If so, that brings me to another topic I will address a bit later. Or do they trade him too? Man I would hate to see that happen because I think he can be a very smart, exciting, successful player who can be steady 16 and 10 man or even better.

Now here is something else to consider. I heard on the radio today a guy from ESPN who says his sources told him Magic wants to trade for Paul George. He said the reason why was Magic wants to make a splash and bring the buzz back to LA.

I would ask back, what kind of buzz? The buzz of winning 42 or so games with Lopez and George and the remaining kids then getting hammered out of the playoffs by Golden State or Houston or the Spurs?

That kind of buzz is bad, what you get when you smoke some really bad weed, not a buzz I want to partake in. That stuff gets old. Disorienting. Real fast.

And why would you trade for a player who has made it crystal clear that he wants to play for us after this year anyway. Why not wait and give up nothing?

But lets say for argument, George goes somewhere else, finds he likes it and decides not to ply his wares here after all. So what? Paul George is not the lynch pin we need to beat Golden State. We would three Paul Georges and someone better than him to even image beating that team.

But I suspect there is more to this first trade than meets the eye and here is why:

Despite the fact that Golden State won the title and will win more, the league still revolves around it's best player in a perverse sort of way and that of course is Lebron James.

Something interesting happened this week. Cleveland owner Gilbert fired Griffin as GM of the Cavaliers. The same Griffin Lebron wanted to keep as GM. And he hired Chauncey Billips, who has not been shy about criticizing Lebron's childish twitter ways in dealing with his teammates.

That seems like an early sign that Gilbert is saying, "I know and you know you are going to be leaving soon. So now I am going to run this team and put in the people I want, not who you want."

You know what happens when you spit in Lebron's face. He doesn't like it and tries to make you pay.

Seems like Gilbert is intentionally baiting the bull here.

I'm sure most of you have heard the stories in the last couple of weeks the King James seems to be casting his eyes out west, to Los Angeles in particular. Most likely with the Clippers populated by good friend CP3, Griffin and maybe even Carmelo. There, like Custer, he would make his final stand against the Warriors.

But what if Magic sees this chance to switch Lebron's port of call not by the arena in LA, but just the jersey. Now Brooks Lopez and the kids would not be enough to lure him here in hopes of beating the Warriors.

But what if we got George? And maybe some other really good role players? Then depending on how Ingram and Ball and the others look next year, Magic can make his pitch.

If Magic does do that trade that is in the wind, sending say Randle to Indiana for George, then you know he has Lebron in the back of his mind.

And let's say it all comes together and they got him. Would it be worth it?

I think not for lots of reasons.

What will certain Lakers fans do who hate Lebron so much because he overthrew Kobe as the best player in the game do? Renounce Lakers fandom till he's gone or root him on to surpass Kobe even more?

That's a joke by the way I just had to throw in. But also a very real problem for some Lakers fans.

First off, Lebron will be 34 by the time he comes to LA. Yes he is still amazing, still the best player in the league, as of this moment, but in two years things change. Especially in basketball where every incremental loss of speed and reflexes cuts like a knife. Do I really want to trade Russell and Randle, Zubac or perhaps Ingram (the Pacers won't give us George) to try get a team acceptable to a 34 year old James? No.

But here is where it gets worse. Lets say Magic and Pelinka have a this master plan to get James. Let's say it works out perfectly. So we end up with George, Lebron, Lopez and even a couple more really good veterans. Augmented of course by Ball and Ingram.

I ask myself, will that team beat Golden State? Maybe, but I don't think so. Golden State is only going to get better as Durant understands the system better and yes, they add some role players to solve weak spots. Because they will. That team doesn't stand still. And as hard as it is to swallow, Durant, Curry, Green and Thompson are just entering their athletic primes.

So here you go, trading Russell, Randle, Zubac perhaps, all in an effort to get a 34 year old player and maybe, just maybe lighting strikes and you can beat out Golden State once and get a ring.

And then what do you do when Lebron is 35 and 36 and Golden State is as good as ever?

So no matter how you slice it, I don't like it. I don't like this trade and I don't like the rumors that we are going to trade for George. I don't like losing Russell and I don't like the thought of losing Randle, or Zubac or Ingram for a 28 year old George.

And I don't like any possible master plan to get Lebron by mortgaging our future for a quick maybe title again. Remember, not very long ago, Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss had the same idea of bringing in stars to help Kobe win another ring. You know how that ended up. We are still paying that hard, unforgiving price.

I ripped at Mitch for years and Magic is my all time favorite Laker and NBA player. But I never play favorites or make judgements on emotion. I do not like this trade and I do not like the rumors I am hearing about a George trade.

Can't get Russell back now. He's gone even as he was playing his best ball at the end of last year. And if we trade Randle, Ingram or Zubac for more pipe dreams of Lebron and titles then man, in five years we will all be looking at each other and asking ourselves two questions:

What the hell happened to that young team we were building?

And how long will Jeanie, Magic and Pelinka stay in charge of screwing up this organization?


Nay511
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Excellent move!!!! Where would PG13 fit in if Russell was on the team? Either George or Ingram will start at SG next season. Russell had to go. He can take that bad attitude and go somewhere else..... "This is MY $HIT!!!!" (DAngelo Russell) 😂😂😂😂


JJCali
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Really Magic's 2nd move. I didn't like the Lou WILLIams trade either. I never trusted Magic in charge. Not saying this is enough to define him already, but he clearly has the short term in mind. And if this is going to continue, ya going to be a very long painful road for us Lakers fans.


Nay511
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DLo... Sit down, Be humble!!!! U wouldn't listen to Byron, Popovich, Luke, or take Magic's advice. U gotta go player. U don't know it all.


kkennon1
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Think people are missing the point, this wasn't 1st time we've heard rumors about Russell, FO obviously didn't think he'd reach his potential in LA.

It's not like we traded Thompson, Curry or player like that. I don't like seeing him go, but if half of rumors are true, can see why he was odd man out so far.


lakerfrommass
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Excellent post as always Randrew. Man, we spoke of this all day today.. I feared Russell was going to be traded.. A huge loss! Getting rid of Mozgov is a huge gain!

There is no way Earv can be dumb enough to trade St Ivica of Drewbac.. He just can't be that dumb..

Again, I'm hurt by them trading Russell, but I am willing to be patient and wait to pass final judgement on this deal..

Final point, I don't want Lebron! It'll be almost as bad as acquiring The Pygmy for me personally as a Lakers fan.


Teddy
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Completely agree.

I guess the FO is just satisfied building a "contender" for a year and then going back to abyss.


kkennon1
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lakerfrommass wrote:
Excellent post as always Randrew. Man, we spoke of this all day today.. I feared Russell was going to be traded.. A huge loss! Getting rid of Mozgov is a huge gain!

There is no way Earv can be dumb enough to trade St Ivica of Drewbac.. He just can't be that dumb..

Again, I'm hurt by them trading Russell, but I am willing to be patient and wait to pass final judgement on this deal..

Final point, I don't want Lebron! It'll be almost as bad as acquiring The Pygmy for me personally as a Lakers fan.

I'm hoping for Westbrook. And yeah, I know we might draft Ball, but I'm still want Westbrook. Lol


JJCali
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kkennon1 wrote:
Think people are missing the point, this wasn't 1st time we've heard rumors about Russell, FO obviously didn't think he'd reach his potential in LA.

It's not like we traded Thompson, Curry or player like that. I don't like seeing him go, but if half of rumors are true, can see why he was odd man out so far.

Doesn't matter. They should have been able to get something for him.


JJCali
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lakerfrommass wrote:
Excellent post as always Randrew. Man, we spoke of this all day today.. I feared Russell was going to be traded.. A huge loss! Getting rid of Mozgov is a huge gain!

There is no way Earv can be dumb enough to trade St Ivica of Drewbac.. He just can't be that dumb..

Again, I'm hurt by them trading Russell, but I am willing to be patient and wait to pass final judgement on this deal..

Final point, I don't want Lebron! It'll be almost as bad as acquiring The Pygmy for me personally as a Lakers fan.

Agreed. Hell no to LBJ! The antilaker!


SPQR
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Cali, Yep. I wasn't jumping for joy when Magic got the job. I wasn't enamored of his tweets for years where he would go up and down more than a yo-yo, first he liked the team, then he didn't, first he liked a deal, then he didn't. He seemed more like a young fan than a thoughtful GM type. I'm pretty sure he is aiming at Lebron here and this is his first move. You see, to Magics childish way of viewing things, he wants the shiniest toy on the planet. That goes right with his psychology. And man, that's gonna be a big mistake in my view, even if we get him. Cali I don't mind saying, I am a bit depressed today about all this. I had high hopes with Mitch gone and these draft picks. Not so much now. The thought of trading these kids for vets to lure James here is making me sick. kennon1, Yep obviously the Lakers had problems with Russell's attitude. But if Magic has his eye on Lebron, which I believe, he has to sacrifice chits to get his master strategy going. He had to make a burnt sacrifice to Jersey to get the money for Lebron's contract...er..I mean get Mozgovs salary off the books. The question is, is a Lebron move the reason they decided to trade Russell to clear Mozgov? If that was the overriding reason, taking into account the issues they had with him, not good in my view. Baptist!! Nice to see the weed logo flying so um high. Tell the guy who made it I think he is a genius. I hope you are right about Earv and Zubac. But if Magic wants good vets to lure Lebron, I fear for Zubac. I think Magic is hypnotized with the idea of bringing Lebron here and....


JJCali
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SPQR, hate to say it but I couldn't agree more. This one move isn't that big of a deal, but it really shows us the mentality of the guy in charge and what is to come moving forward. I am very down too.


JJCali
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I feel it will be worse than the previous Fo. Who we all knew wanted big names, but still got us draft picks and were more worried about the big names when we still had Kobe. I could see MAgic completepy throwing away our future for his shiny toy, that most Lakers fans don't even want in James. Not to mention the guy will be 33 by the time he comes here, which I don't think he will even do. So Magic will mortgage our future on a bad idea that won't won't even pan out. Dark days ahead, SPQR... Also totally agree, I was never excited about magic. Not just his idiotic tweets but even as an ABC analyst I thought he just came across as stupid when discussing players and when discussing the Lakers.


kkennon1
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SPQR, think some are jump the gun , you could be right , but could be wrong. I'll wait for things to play out 1st, before I start condemning FO. There are a number of FA's that FO could have their eye. If Wesbrook opts out, I'd prefer him over LBJ. Point is I'm starting to see players talking about LA again.

Lilliard said a couple of days ago, if he wasn't a Blazer, he'd want to be a Lakers. I'm not going to get bent out of shape over one player that FO had reservations about. Especially since we're about to possibly draft a better one in draft.

I see some of your points, but I'll hold judgement till farther notice.


MAGICLAKEZ
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Great post as usual Randy, I never envisioned a situation wherein you would be compelled to compromise the only player who showed some flashes of brilliance (albeit some maturity issues) for a salary dump. Why should the youngsters be penalized for the effed up decisions of the previous regime? We were on our way to add a key cog and probably the last piece of the puzzle(Ball) and Russell would have paired admirably at the 2. He put stats which were comparable to current all stars. I was really hoping they would persevere with him for one more year. They gave....


MAGICLAKEZ
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I think the magic man has lost all his marbles. Pelinka needs to get rid of those tight jeans as well. Lmao!!!!


SPQR
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Kennon1,

Absolutely I could be dead wrong about all of this. In four years I might be saying, wow, the FO had a great rebuilding plan and did it.

Could be with the kids and picks we have left and trades or free agent signings we will have a long term powerful team. I hope that's the goal not a one shot with Lebron.

But I can only comment now on giving up on Russell and why I think they are clearing money. Lebron.

One thing for sure, if the rumors play out and we trade more kids for George, then we know what the end game is. And then I will vomit.

But as you correctly said, we just have to see how it all plays out.

Roman,

I agree with every point you made. I just hate this trade for so many reasons. I also think your point about giving up on Russell that fast is so very valid. People forget how young he is.

Kind of like I was saying to Kennon1 a few posts ago, if they traded him because they came to the conclusion his situation here was untenable, that's one thing, but if they decided he was the least sacrifice to jettison Mozgov that's something else entirely.

Which brings me to another point you made that I was actually texting Gemfow and Lakersfromass about before this trade.

The story is senile Phil will trade Porzingus for the right deal. His insanity aside, why not try take advantage of that idiocy?

So I asked them, just as you did here, why not offer Russell, Randall, Mozgov (salary if you can unload him) and our 28th pick for Porzingus?

I'll take that trade any day over this. I bet you would too. Then you're looking at a future team with the core of Zubac, Porzingus, Ingram and Ball. I like that better than some team of vets with Lebron.

Finally Roman, I too was really looking forward to a back court this year and in the future of Ball and Russell. We won't see that now.

Maybe if in five years if Russell is a huge star Magic will want him back LOL.


kkennon1
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This post by Kennon1 was screwed up by me, Spqr when I tried to quote it. My apologies.

The essence of it was if lakers traded more of the good kids away he would vomit too, along with me.


SPQR
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Kennon1,

Yeah... These are tense times now LOL.

But one thing that isn't tense anymore is the draft. With Russell's departure the suspense for us is all gone.

With the second pick in the 2017 NBA draft, the Los Angeles Lakers select.... Guard from UCLA... Lonzo Ball!

Damn, Kennon1, I somehow erased your last post trying to quote you saying you would vomit if they trade more kids for vets. I apologize.


userpete1037
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I was cool with the trade but just read they tried to trade #2 pick to Kings for #5 & #10.....WTF Magic!!!!!!!...All for PG13....C'mon man!!!!


MAGICLAKEZ
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userpete1037 wrote:
I was cool with the trade but just read they tried to trade #2 pick to Kings for #5 & #10.....WTF Magic!!!!!!!

He is behaving like Mitch/Jim....on steroids. Lmao!!!


kkennon1
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SPQR wrote:
Kennon1,

Yeah... These are tense times now LOL.

But one thing that isn't tense anymore is the draft. With Russell's departure the suspense for us is all gone.

With the second pick in the 2017 NBA draft, the Los Angeles Lakers select.... Guard from UCLA... Lonzo Ball!

Damn, Kennon1, I somehow erased your last post trying to quote you saying you would vomit if they trade more kids for vets. I apologize.

No problem SPQR, let's just hope we still have 2nd pick come Thursday.


Tempy
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kkennon1 wrote:
I'm hoping for Westbrook. And yeah, I know we might draft Ball, but I'm still want Westbrook. Lol

Durant and Westbrook we're not enough to get past the Warriors, how is PG13 and Westbrook going to do so while the warriors have Durant?


SPQR
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kkennon1 wrote:
No problem SPQR, let's just hope we still have 2nd pick come Thursday.

Yeah. Here's to hoping alright. Two more days of hoping, LOL. Jeez.


Tempy
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Quote:
I get the criticisms: His attitude is questionable, his defense is worse and he hasn't proven an explosive athlete against NBA opponents. Despite all that, he submitted one of the 25 best offensive seasons by a point guard 21 or younger as measured by Basketball-Reference.com's box plus-minus metric.

Point guards tend to continue developing later than players at other positions -- particularly bigger points, like the 6-foot-5 Russell -- and there's reason to believe he's still just scratching the surface of his potential. Of the 10 players my SCHOENE projection system rates most similar to Russell at the same age, three (Gilbert Arenas, Chauncey Billups and Jrue Holiday) developed into All-Stars, and Mike Conley is perhaps the best player ever not to make an All-Star team.

Becoming a dangerous 3-point shooter off the dribble could unlock the rest of Russell's game by forcing defenders to play over screens, much as it has for Conley, Kyle Lowry and Kemba Walker, to name three. His 38.7 percent shooting on pull-up 3s after the All-Star break (having shot 30.1 percent on them before the break) offered a glimpse of what Russell could become if he adds that shot on a consistent basis.

http://www.espn.com/nba/insider/story/_ ... -lopez-nba


MAGICLAKEZ
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SPQR wrote:
Yeah. Here's to hoping alright. Two more days of hoping, LOL. Jeez.

Randy, I would do that Porzingiz deal you were alluding to in a heartbeat.

There was no rush to off load bad contracts since free agency is still one year away. There was ample time to maneuver as we went along. And by George (pun intended) lol...if you had to compromise someone to get rid of the bad contract, you could have used the fundamentally flawed Clarkson or maybe Randle / Nance.

They just had to draft Ball and sit tight for George to walk to them next year. By then Magic would have probably had his sights on someone else. Lol.


MAGICLAKEZ
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Just wanted to share this exchange reg Russell.


Tempy
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MAGICLAKEZ wrote:

Exactly. People want instant success. It's not easy and things take time.


FrankBecerra
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What! No more Mosgov. He was my favorite player. I'm also going to miss Russell and his "I know everything" additude. Now they can light it up for the nets! Mosgov is going to crush it!


MAGICLAKEZ
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FrankBecerra wrote:
What! No more Mosgov. He was my favorite player. I'm also going to miss Russell and his "I know everything" additude. Now they can light it up for the nets! Mosgov is going to crush it!

I feel you, but we still have Luold Dung. Lmao!!!


FrankBecerra
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i forgot to mention that this move is brilliant, you just wait and see!


JJCali
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Now all these rumors about trading Randle and 1st for George, trading back from number 2... this is so depressing to hear.


ckels
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Bottom line is this trade gives us much more flexibility going forward and I believe that was the goal.


JJCali
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ckels wrote:
Bottom line is this trade gives us much more flexibility going forward and I believe that was the goal.

Well I guess "flexibility" is more important than young talent.


Tempy
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ckels wrote:
Bottom line is this trade gives us much more flexibility going forward and I believe that was the goal.

Flexibility for what? Purely speculative and hypothetical free agent scenarios......What could go wrong? Lol


Tempy
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JJCali wrote:
Now all these rumors about trading Randle and 1st for George, trading back from number 2... this is so depressing to hear.

I don't understand, the moves Jeanie made have granted the new FO time, just as Luke is being afforded the same luxury. Yet they are going cray cray in a rush to bring in "stars" when the NBA has a juggernaut already assembled to contend for the next 3-4 years.

There was absolutely no rush to make these moves this summer.


FrankBecerra
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We'll miss you Mosgov! Don't feel bad about being benched by Luke, he had to, you didn't give him a choice cause the Lakes weren't going to tank with you in the game!


lepcitylakers
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We have preached on flexibility and financial flexibility for the past 4-5 years, and that's really getting us somewhere. Please don't trade randle now idiots. He is just 22, and finally has room inside because we have a center that stretches and makes jumpers, unlike the great roy hibbert and mozgov.


DFishSuperFan
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Boston and Los Angeles fell out of contention for a championship right around the same time. Boston got serious about their rebuild by parting ways with Pierce, KG, and eventually Rondo, making good trades and collecting draft picks. Currently they are Eastern Conference Finals contenders with probably more assets to work with than any other team. Lakers decided to live in denial and didn't just keep Kobe around and let him run the show but also gave him tons of money, traded for washed up stars, and of course nothing came of it. Finally when we start assembling a promising young core to grow with, that would be at its prime when the Warrior Dynasty is ending, our new management is ready to sell the farm of youngins for Paul George and a roll of the dice for a chance at another star free agent. Things aren't looking good


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MAGICLAKEZ
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"Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson said all of the right things when they got the job. They wanted to rebuild for the future. They wanted to keep the core and build with a long-term view on things. Both of them seemed to be pleased with D’Angelo Russell and happy having him as a Laker. There was no indication that the Lakers were going to move on from him in the near future at least. The rebuild was progressing nicely." "This trade was terrible for the Lakers. Plain and simple. The timeline is now rushed and they gave up a potential superstar,....


mcbill
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I have to admit I have mixed feelings about this move. I would have thought we could have gotten a better return on DLo, but apparently not. To all those who are bemoaning this trade as a huge mistake, I would point to the not so distant past and a little transaction between the Warriors and the Bucks. Warriors management had determined that Steph Curry and Monta Ellis caused to much of a defensive liability when paired together even though offensively they generated plenty of firepower. They decided to clear the way for Curry to become a superstar. The trade was wildly unpopular when it went down with most Warriors fans, but it seemed to work out fine for them. I'm not saying Russell is Ellis or Lopez is Bogut but I'm going to go to sleep, secure in the knowledge that the sun will rise tomorrow and we will have a new day to be surprised by some pre-draft craziness.


MAGICLAKEZ
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Another stunning article...Sorry for bombarding your thread Randy...lol. "On Tuesday, four months of lip service went down the drain. Magic, who called the Lakers’ young core “untouchable”, and Pelinka dealt a vital piece �" the best piece �" of that young core away in a salary dump to rid themselves of Timofey Mozgov’s terrible contract. And for what? A chance to potentially chase LeBron James in free agency? A chance to mortgage the future while chasing a star in the summer? That sounds a lot like the group that was just run out of the front office." "But what they did on Tuesday....


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kkennon1
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BaadMaster
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If Russell turns out to be another NBA high-draft journeyman, then this move is brilliant.

If DLo becomes a star, the move sucks. It is that simple.


SPQR
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Man,

I am really starting to hate Magic and Pelinka.

Check out this "Master Plan" those two put together:

https://www.thescore.com/news/1322120

Can it get any worse?

It's like Mitch and Jim never left.

I'm talking a strong, healthy, serious I want your butts fired and gone, because I can't stand the sight of you or the sound of your stupid voice, long term hate . Not some mild case that might go away some time.


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gemfow
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Lakers' franchise may be in trouble if this type of movement and attitude persists. This win-now approach rarely yields championship results. You know what it does yield? SmLl windows for championships. Cleveland traded Wiggins for Love they shortened their window. Wiggins is now an up and coming 22 year old while Love is a guy who will be turning 29 and will have about two to three prime years left. Those years will be wasted in Cleveland losing to GS who actually stayed the course with their draft picks.

This wasn't a good move IMO. Why do a salary dump unless you're trying to throw your money at someone?

When the Lakers got the number two pick there were headlines that said that other teams are evaluating trade packages for D'Angelo Russell. They must have known this tandem couldn't resist making some sort of move. Also the name Russell came up, not Clarkson and for good reason.


Luke...
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this trade could have been done at the trade deadline... While getting rid of Mozgov is great, losing a great young talent to do it, with nothing else to show for it but a salary dump and wishful future free agent signings... is a dumb move. I liked the Lou Williams move, it was correct for the team at the time. LouWill didn't fit our future, didn't fit our present, was hurting the development, and gained us a late first rounder and a younger backup guard to try out. Now this trade is losing a top lottery pick just to make space? we don't need space this year? nobody coming this year! even if we trade for Paul George, we don't need that space this year. Besides if anyone, Randle is the one who will be owed money soon, and we don't want walking away for nothing. Not Russell, he still has another year before we are close to his extension. I would have said that Randle was a bit more expendable than Russell... but now that we have Brook "I'm 7-feet tall but can't catch a rebound" Lopez we need Randle in there grabbing the boards. If they trade Randle away for PG who is going to rebound? We will be the worst rebounding team in the league. But they kind of have to trade Randle and the late first rounders for PG now since that was why they got that pick right? To add to the PG trade? But Indy ain't going for it. So they made a trade looking too far ahead to the next trade, when it wasn't even probable. But now they have gone in this build a playoff-contender in the next 2yrs mode, sigh. (playoff-contender ,not final contender... cause even with PG and another star that aren't....


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