The Lakers and the Shape of Things to Come

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SPQR
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Back in 1933, writer H.G. Wells published a work of fiction called the Shape of Things to Come. My friend Lakersfrommass said the title sounds like a porn movie, and while that is true, it's not (but maybe someone should make one with that title). And while Well's book was indeed filmed more than once, instead of it being about porn it is about what was to come. In it he tried to envision and guess the future from 1933 to 2016.

Some of Well's predictions were very accurate, including World War Two and massive air forces bombing countries into devastation and exhaustion. Many of his others were off the mark.

The reason I mention this is because for a really good sports FO and GM, trying to see not only up the hallway of the future, but around the corner is essential in plotting and making the correct moves. The difference between Well's and a GM is for Well's there is no penalty for being wrong, for the GM the damages can last years.

That being said, what is the Shape of Things to Come for the NBA and consequently the Lakers and how should what we think will happen, what we guess could eventuate, affect what we do?

Right now we know some truths that are obvious. Golden State, barring serious injuries is the best team in the league and will likely win the title again this year. And they should be a monster team for at least two more years, before age, defections, inertia and ennui start to dissolve them from what they are now. Nothing stays the same forever.

Houston seems to be the second best team in the west and have the best record, but I have a very hard time seeing a team with harden and Paul finding a way to take a healthy Warrior team over seven games.

In the east with Irving's season ending injury you have Cleveland, with OK but not special talent and the incomparable Lebron James. Incomparable for now, but maybe not much longer and I'll get to that in a bit. Cleveland has to be favored to get to the final because of James and the weakness of the east. You have Toronto who will have the best record, but we know what happens to them. Then you have another team, Philly, but let's get back to them in a bit too, you will see why.

So right now, in the present, when talking about the elite teams you have Golden State, Houston, Cleveland and next year with the return of Gordan and Irving, Boston. With those players they could well become at least the second best team in the league.

And what of the Lakers? Our team has a terrific young group of players. And we all can see where this may be heading in a few years. We are all thinking about championship appearances down the road when the kids become men. Yet there is something else in play here that some of us may like and others not: We all know the master plan. Magic and Pelinka are determined to bring Lebron and George here, or maybe Leonard if one of the others fall through. Their goal is nothing less than winning the title next year.

I have made my feelings known about this option, I am against it. For me it a short term plan for short term gain. It is also predicated on integrating these new players into a new system, with a new coach, with new, young teammates and hoping they get good enough, fast enough to not only become better than the top teams but good enough to beat a veteran, great Golden State championship team still in it's prime. Could it happen? Maybe.

But here is another reason I don't like it. In order to do this the Lakers will have to jettison some good, young players I would like to have around for the long term, including Caldwell Pope and even more so Julius Randle. There is no getting around it. So you are mortgaging a large part of the future on the fast gamble.

And here is another concern of mine: Lebron has to play with the ball to be effective. There is another player who meets that criteria, Lonzo Ball. So if Lebron comes here, what does that do to Magic's face of the franchise? Unless something dramatic and quick happens with Ball's scoring and shooting, it's not like you can make him a scorer or spot up shooter for Lebron. Do the Lakers want to go that route. Also, do you want to bring in two forwards, Lebron and George/Leonard when we have Kuzma, Ingram and Randle already?

I could see bringing in one of them, my pick would be Leonard, because he is the best two way player in the game and very unselfish. He would fit here and add something good.

But even that would not be my first choice and this is where I put on my GM/H.G. Wells hat and try to envision the Shape of Things to Come in the NBA.

And that brings me back to my two statements before about Philly and Lebron James being incomparable now, but maybe not much longer.

When try to see down that hallway of the future, and further, around the corner I ask myself, where is the threat to this young Lakers team when Kuzma, Randle, Ball, Ingram are entering their primes? Which team could stop them from being the rulers of this league, prevent this talented corp from winning NBA titles in three, four, five years?

It won't be Cleveland. Not Golden State. Nor Houston. Maybe Boston yes, but I see something much better and more sinister down that road and it is the Philadelphia 76ers. And there are a lot of reasons why.

First off is Ben Simmons. It is becoming apparent that this guy is not only going to be the heir apparent to Lebron as the best player in the league but has a legit chance to be one of the top ten players in NBA history. Too early to say that? Maybe, but remember I've put on my GM/H.G. Wells hat here. I'm trying to gauge the threats we will face when it's our turn and when I see Simmons doing what he is doing, in his first year, it is flat out scary and I don't think I am being premature in saying this guy could become a legend, one of the best players of all time.

But that might not even be the largest concern here. That may be another tremendous player they have and the unique challenge he presents to us, Joel Embid. This guy has the look of a monster center, on a par with Anthony Davis and the problem that creates for us is this, we have nothing to even try combat that with.

When you watch Davis or Embid play against us, it brings me to mind of the days we had Vlad Divac and played the Spurs with David Robinson. Those of you old enough know exactly what I am talking about; Robinson could do whatever he wanted to us whenever he wanted and the stat lines were usually like this: 37 points, 17 rebounds and horrific losses to the Spurs.

But that's not all. The Sixers also have Markelle Fultz. He has been hurt most of the year but if he turns out to be the player rated above and drafted ahead of Lonzo Ball, we know what he will be. On top of this, they also will have a top ten draft pick this year and two picks in the first round. And that is not only the Shape of Things to Come for the NBA and the Lakers, and it's frightening.

So when I look down the hallway of the future, and try peek around the corner, two when our young players are ready to make contend, I don't see Boston, Golden State, Cleveland, the Spurs, Houston or any of the teams predominant now. I don't see Durant or Curry or Lebron standing in our way. I see the Sixers, I see Simmons and Embid and Fultz and others we don't even know about yet.

So the question is, what can we do, now and the next year or so to be ready for what Philly will bring to the table?

As far as Simmons goes, perhaps not much. He's just that great and talented in so many areas. You can double him. Or...maybe in two years a bigger, stronger Ingram can take up the defense challenge and mitigate him to a degree. Simmons is so very powerful so a lot would depend on how strong Ingram can get. But he has the size and arm length to be as effective a defender as you can have against a monster like Simmons.

And that brings me back to Embid. Can you in say three years envision our team, as currently constituted beating the Sixers, Simmons, Fultz and Embid in the finals? I have a hard time doing it for this reason, you can't beat a team over seven games that has a guy as great as Simmons and then coupled with a guy like Embid who will pull the David Robinson vs Vlad Divac scenario, game after game after game with no answer from us.

We could hope that Zubac is the answer by then. He shows flashes of being something really good. He also shows flashes of being just a serviceable, very flawed center, not something you even hope to throw against Embid unless you want to get killed.

Which now brings me full circle to what the Lakers should try to do, something I really didn't want to do a few years back but I am now thinking is becoming essential if this young team has any chance to meet the Philly threat right when both teams are hitting their primes. It comes back to this, you know how the Lakers mitigated the David Robinson problem? They got Shaq and suddenly Robinson went from a Pit Bull to Miniature French Poodle against the Lakers.

The Lakers aren't going to get anyone to turn Embid into a poodle, but they can get someone to mitigate the damage he does to an extent where we would have a fighting chance against the Sixers.

A few years ago, Mitch Kupchak wanted to bring in DeMarcus Cousins. I didn't want to make that move for a couple reasons. First off, the trade would have cost too many draft picks. Adding Cousins would not have helped that pathetic team one bit. It was bringing in a dog and pony show to please entertainment starved fans. Second, I heard a guy on the radio talking about Cousins and what he was like in Sacramento and it was a horror show. If things didn't go the way he wanted, he pouted, he didn't defend, he didn't pass, he didn't run, he didn't rebound. Anyone listening to that show knew why you didn't want this guy to come to the Lakers.

There is risk here. On top of that, you have the Achilles injury. But he is young and if our medical staff says the injury is healing as desired, I think I would have to take that chance. And we would have to hope that Cousins will have a total change in attitude playing with an exciting young, unselfish team.

But I would take that risk. Because he is one of the few players in this league who can mitigate Embid, make him work, make things hard for him on both ends of the floor.

And I think this has to be because I just can't see this Lakers team beating Philly when they have a guy like Simmons playing with a center like Embid who can do anything he wants with us when he wants to do it. I just don't see how this team will beat that one unless we get our Shaq to antidote their Robinson to some degree, so to speak.

There is another advantage to this, if the FO changes their plan from Lebron and George to just Cousins, that means we can keep Randle and Pope too.

In the early eighties, the Sixers and Lakers paired off three times in the finals. Both had great teams with terrific players. The first two times they met the Lakers won because they had a transcendent multi talent named Magic Johnson and a center named Jabber who could do whatever he wanted against Philly whenever he wanted.

The Sixers won the third meeting because they went out and got an antidote to Jabbar named Moses Malone. If they hadn't gotten Malone, they would have lost all three.

And I'm starting to get this feeling that those old Lakers-Sixers title series may get a second version soon. But this time around, I see them with the Magic and Jabbar, not us.

So while Magic and Pelinka are looking at the now, casting their hopes for a quick fix and not a long term solution, I'm putting on my H.G. Wells hat and looking a bit further down, to Shape of Things to Come. To the bigger, real threat that will be there when our team and it's young players hits its prime. And if the Lakers don't make the right moves now, that shape will be dictated in the City of Brotherly Love while the City of Angeles will only watch and think about what might have been and won't ever happen as long as Embid runs free against us.


lakerfrommass
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Another Quollity post written by LNS's resident carnivorous marsupial.


kkennon1
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Agree about Philly, said it for a few years now. Don't know if Simmons will be HOFer, until he learns to shoot. Right now he's doing same thing Randle does and forces his way to basket. Think teams will adjust to that coming into next season. But definitely think Sixers are the youngest up and coming team with the most upside right now.


userpete1037
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The HOF isn't what it use to be. Dam near anybody can get in now. If Simmons stays healthy for 10 to 15 years, even without a jumper he'll be a 1st ballot HOF period IMO. He's going to average a triple double for a season or more in the near future. It's inevitable.


SPQR
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Pete, Kennon:

I've been watching sports a long time and over that time I've learned to trust what my eyes see and how my brain interprets that information.

I have seen enough of Simmons to say he is the most extreme type of special athlete.

I will say right now that barring injury problems he will go on to these accomplishments: league MVP, recognition as the best player in the game, those endless first team all NBA and all star selections, a sure fire HOF entrant, in any era, and a standing among the top fifteen players in history. If he develops his offensive game and I suspect he will, no telling how high on that all time list he could go.

I'm sure many will say those predictions are premature. And that is true. But they will happen. It is plain to me he's just that special. It's just that many people can't see it yet or want to see him keep doing it, keep getting better. They will.


kkennon1
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SPQR wrote:
Pete, Kennon:

I've been watching sports a long time and over that time I've learned to trust what my eyes see and how my brain interprets that information.

I have seen enough of Simmons to say he is the most extreme type of special athlete.

I will say right now that barring injury problems he will go on to these accomplishments: league MVP, recognition as the best player in the game, those endless first team all NBA and all star selections, a sure fire HOF entrant, in any era, and a standing among the top fifteen players in history. If he develops his offensive game and I suspect he will, no telling how high on that all time list he could go.

I'm sure many will say those predictions are premature. And that is true. But they will happen. It is plain to me he's just that special. It's just that many people can't see it yet or want to see him keep doing it, keep getting better. They will.

SPQR, I was one of the 1st on here singing Simmons praises when he was in college, and he is special. I'm a little disappointed that he didn't improve his shooting with a year off last season. As for being among top 15 players in history in any era ( think this era is pretty soft), don't know about that. But wouldn't surprise me to see him talked about as among the best, one day. Although I think Embiid if he can stay healthy is the better player and can go down as 1 of the best to ever play. Guess we'll find out, at Lakers and rest of league's expense. Lol


ralppcobarde
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Hi Randy,

Great post. I think Embiid & Simmons will be a problem for years to come. I Have watched Simmons last game against the Cavs and he was really very good. They can do so much damage & believe they can go at ECF this year.

My two concerns are as ff:

  1. First, sixers will be in a playoffs this year, i believe they can go deep especially with less competition with Boston being short handed. ECF will be their ceiling especially if Embiid comes back. Win or lose that will be a playoffs experience edge to them over us.

  2. For next season, these guys need to work harder .hopefully it could be a great leap in the next season especially for Ingram & Ball. Theyve shown their flashes this year. But if were going to do damage next year. Hope they can improve drastically & bring us to playiffs next year.

No playoffs next year would warrant changes to coaching staff & maybe a tweak in player personnel.


SPQR
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Kkennon, I agree with all you said. The problem is Embid, who looks like a monster is at the position we can't defend or deal with. Lopez is..well Lopez and while Randle tries like hell, he is just too smail to bother a huge talented player like Embid or Anthony Davis. You see what happens when we play guys like that. So when pondering a future Sixers-Lakers finals, I just don't see how we beat them in a seven game series unless something is done at the center position. So what do the Lakers do? Pray that Zubac becomes that guy? That is a long shot. He would have to become elite to fit that bill. He is young and shows promise but I would not lay my title chips on the line with him becoming that good. So once again that takes me back to trying to get Cousins instead of Lebron and George because when this teams players are finally ready, they better have an answer for Philly and Embid or we will be the perennial bridesmaid in the finals. Hey Ralpcobarde! Thanks for the nice words and as always, great so hear from you., I agree with you about the Sixers and the playoffs. In fact, if Embid comes back and gets into playing form, I think they are the one team in the east that may have a shot against Cleveland. Do I think they will beat them? Probably not. Still a bit young, but I would not be stunned if they pull it off. Aside from Lebron, they are more talented than Cleveland but as we know, Lebron goes a long way, lol. He's just that great. The playoff experience will help them next season and I will say this, if Lebron does leave Cleveland or he stays but they don't improve....


ralppcobarde
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Hi Randy,

Thanks for the feedback, as always. I also like you mention Cousins, but I'm contemplating for this now & i like to speak my mind. But in fact, i would like to take a chance on Deandre Jordan. A defensive bigman that we need plus he is atheltic & he works well with shooters and playmakers around him. Id take the risk with Cousins but for an achilles injury might be a big risk to take especially for a bigman.

For Zubac, I'm still not high on him. He just fumbles the ball quite often and sometimes it really grows into a nature to him. Same with Kwame Brown, when he just fumbles the ball and leads to a turnover.

Honorable mention might be Kuzma, he has that dog in him. But to mention that he only is being paid at 1.75mil and produces at unexpected rate. He has been a big plus & addition. Next year, he will be a big part of the rotation maybe as a sixth man & will play phenomenal on stretches.

In love, with his skyhook a signature go to move.


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ralppcobarde wrote:
Hi Randy,

Thanks for the feedback, as always. I also like you mention Cousins, but I'm contemplating for this now & i like to speak my mind. But in fact, i would like to take a chance on Deandre Jordan. A defensive bigman that we need plus he is atheltic & he works well with shooters and playmakers around him. Id take the risk with Cousins but for an achilles injury might be a big risk to take especially for a bigman.

For Zubac, I'm still not high on him. He just fumbles the ball quite often and sometimes it really grows into a nature to him. Same with Kwame Brown, when he just fumbles the ball and leads to a turnover.

Honorable mention might be Kuzma, he has that dog in him. But to mention that he only is being paid at 1.75mil and produces at unexpected rate. He has been a big plus & addition. Next year, he will be a big part of the rotation maybe as a sixth man & will play phenomenal on stretches.

In love, with his skyhook a signature go to move.

Yep , I was all in on the Cousins wagon before the injury. D.Jordan would be my #1 free agent target. We need that defender in the middle and rebounder to get out and run - he’s the perfect fit. Does not need the ball to make plays.

Second, I’d go after Will Barton instead of KCP and he would be cheaper imo. Has all-around game and fills up the stat sheet. Also does not need the ball to make plays.


kkennon1
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TERRY-TEAGLE wrote:
Yep , I was all in on the Cousins wagon before the injury. D.Jordan would be my #1 free agent target. We need that defender in the middle and rebounder to get out and run - he’s the perfect fit. Does not need the ball to make plays.

Second, I’d go after Will Barton instead of KCP and he would be cheaper imo. Has all-around game and fills up the stat sheet. Also does not need the ball to make plays.

Agree about Barton over KCP, but don't know how much cheaper he'd be. Read somewhere he turned down 4 years 42m before season started from Nuggets.

Never been high on DJ, especially if he's looking for max offer.


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Sounds like pure justification to me. They're right, his stat line is very unimpressive, plus all the injuries. Again I don't have the faith other pple have in him here. This offseason will, to my mind, be probably the most important in Lakers history.

https://lonzowire.usatoday.com/2018/04/ ... onzo-ball/


gemfow
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Good post SPQR! I really thought that Minnesota was headed where Philly us headed. I even said a few times that we should be looking past GS and towards Minnesota because we can’t compete with GS. And what’s the point of having a small playoff window when we keep losing to them.

With Wiggins looking like a good pro with a streaky shot and very little playmaking. I think Minnyisnt the team to look at anymore. Since Thibbs plays his starters 38+ minutes nightly, the core will have the knees of 50 year olds by 2021. Philly has built something really nice and Fultz seems like he could be a problem also come next season


SPQR
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Gem,

Thanks.

I hear you. Minnesotta looked like they were on the fast track but Philly has just zoomed past them. I attribute that to several things. One is what you said about Wiggins. You know what's really funny is that in college he was a terrific defender but in the pros he just doesn't seem that interested. He's a good player but not what he was supposed to be nor as good as I thought he would be.

Another guy whose stock has dropped big time is Thibs. I was listening to two Minnesotta writers and they were pretty frank in saying this team should be running but he has them playing this stuck in mud offense. They also wondered why with a talent like Town's why is he not more the focal point of the offense and why is Wiggins so much of it instead?

Lastly I think that Simmons is just so special. This guy just elevates a team like few players can. He just is so influential in what he does. And in passing its just ridiculous. He passes like Ball only wishes he could. And that is no knock on Ball at all. Just a tribute to Simmons.


userpete1037
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SPQR wrote:
Pete, Kennon:

I've been watching sports a long time and over that time I've learned to trust what my eyes see and how my brain interprets that information.

I have seen enough of Simmons to say he is the most extreme type of special athlete.

I will say right now that barring injury problems he will go on to these accomplishments: league MVP, recognition as the best player in the game, those endless first team all NBA and all star selections, a sure fire HOF entrant, in any era, and a standing among the top fifteen players in history. If he develops his offensive game and I suspect he will, no telling how high on that all time list he could go.

I'm sure many will say those predictions are premature. And that is true. But they will happen. It is plain to me he's just that special. It's just that many people can't see it yet or want to see him keep doing it, keep getting better. They will.

Hey SPQR, I'm with you. Simmons is that dude. Skies the limit for him. Dam so close to being a Laker....lol.


kkennon1
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SPQR wrote:
Gem,

Thanks.

I hear you. Minnesotta looked like they were on the fast track but Philly has just zoomed past them. I attribute that to several things. One is what you said about Wiggins. You know what's really funny is that in college he was a terrific defender but in the pros he just doesn't seem that interested. He's a good player but not what he was supposed to be nor as good as I thought he would be.

Another guy whose stock has dropped big time is Thibs. I was listening to two Minnesotta writers and they were pretty frank in saying this team should be running but he has them playing this stuck in mud offense. They also wondered why with a talent like Town's why is he not more the focal point of the offense and why is Wiggins so much of it instead?

Lastly I think that Simmons is just so special. This guy just elevates a team like few players can. He just is so influential in what he does. And in passing its just ridiculous. He passes like Ball only wishes he could. And that is no knock on Ball at all. Just a tribute to Simmons.

Wiggins was projected to as good as he wants too!! But his motor was in question coming out of high school, and didn't always play up to his skill level.

Agree Simmons is special, but don't think Zo is far behind. Would love to see what Zo could do with same talent level of shooters around him.


userpete1037
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SPQR wrote:
Gem,

Thanks.

I hear you. Minnesotta looked like they were on the fast track but Philly has just zoomed past them. I attribute that to several things. One is what you said about Wiggins. You know what's really funny is that in college he was a terrific defender but in the pros he just doesn't seem that interested. He's a good player but not what he was supposed to be nor as good as I thought he would be.

Another guy whose stock has dropped big time is Thibs. I was listening to two Minnesotta writers and they were pretty frank in saying this team should be running but he has them playing this stuck in mud offense. They also wondered why with a talent like Town's why is he not more the focal point of the offense and why is Wiggins so much of it instead?

Lastly I think that Simmons is just so special. This guy just elevates a team like few players can. He just is so influential in what he does. And in passing its just ridiculous. He passes like Ball only wishes he could. And that is no knock on Ball at all. Just a tribute to Simmons.

SPQR,

Wiggins reminds me of Derrick McKey. Remember that guy...lol. Not same body type but same desire type. Never knew what motivated him. Sometimes he'd play out of this world and sometimes he was just out there going through the motions.


SPQR
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Some very interesting comments there. Pete, Yep, I was salivating for Simmons to be a Laker and that missed out like a shot just hitting the rim and coming out. I really like all our young guys and I'm throwing Hart right into that mix with Ball, Randle, Ingram and Kuzma. He has starter ability. But Simmons is just that dude, as you say. He's Magic, he's Kobe, he is Jordan, he's Lebron. He's just that guy who is so rare. If we'd have gotten him Pete, man, I would be floating right now watching him play and also counting up the future titles in my head. Pete, I do remember McKey and that is a very good comparison. You just knew he had more to give but too many nights for some reason he wouldn't give it. Kkennon, I would say this in comparing Zo and Simmons as passers. Both make that consistent, good, right pass that really facilitates a team's offense. They are masters of it. Where Simmons goes to another level is he often makes that jaw dropping pass that leaves you shaking your head. It goes beyond passing at that stage and becomes more imagination translated to rare art. That is the highest form of passing and so very rare. Magic and Kidd had that too. You know who else did? Larry Bird. Zo doesn't seem to show that facility. You don't have to have that to be a great passer, but it does put you on a different level. I do expect Zo to become even a better passer as he adjusts to the NBA and he's pretty damn good now. D'angelo Russell and Zo were anointed the best passers since Magic. Russell isn't even one of the top ten passers in the league. Zo is a very good, consistent passer but....


kkennon1
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Think Simmons is going to be great player, but I'm not putting him in same category as MJ, Magic, Lebron, etc.

Still think Sixers only get a far as Embiid takes them.

Also think Zo can be on or close to his level, already think Zo runs fastbreak better. As I said above, want to see what Zo can do with better shooting around him. Have seen him make some mind blowing passes this year, and players not finish them.

In the end, think both will be special, just think they'll do it in different ways.


SPQR
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Kkennon,

I think the Sixers will only go as far as Embid and Simmons take them. I don't think either one alone will win a title. At least for now.

I agree with you about Embid's potential. I think he may end up the best big man since Shaq. Which is why I said the Lakers FO better start thinking now about how to handle him. And Lebron and George are not the answers to that problem in the coming five years or more.

Zo does run the break better. On the other side, Simmons is just so much bigger. Zo is a big point but Simmons makes him look like a pygmy. Throwing out centers, Simmons is the biggest, strongest NBA ready body since Lebron. This allows him to drive to the paint and operate in it like Zo will never be able too. It also, like Magic before him, gives him passing chances that Zo will never have.

The interesting thing for both is this, their final places in NBA history will be decided a lot on how their offense games develop, or don't. If Simmons develops one, forget it. He will end up one of the greatest players in history. I know many will think I'm premature in saying that, and they have a point, but like I said, I trust my eyes. If Zo develops his, he should end up in HOF.

I think Ball may have a harder time doing so because of the weird shot he has. For both players to end up what they could be, they will have to do that.

If both develop as one expects, as you say, they each will find their own unique ways to get what they need done.


kkennon1
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SPQR wrote:
Kkennon,

I think the Sixers will only go as far as Embid and Simmons take them. I don't think either one alone will win a title. At least for now.

I agree with you about Embid's potential. I think he may end up the best big man since Shaq. Which is why I said the Lakers FO better start thinking now about how to handle him. And Lebron and George are not the answers to that problem in the coming five years or more.

Zo does run the break better. On the other side, Simmons is just so much bigger. Zo is a big point but Simmons makes him look like a pygmy. Throwing out centers, Simmons is the biggest, strongest NBA ready body since Lebron. This allows him to drive to the paint and operate in it like Zo will never be able too. It also, like Magic before him, gives him passing chances that Zo will never have.

The interesting thing for both is this, their final places in NBA history will be decided a lot on how their offense games develop, or don't. If Simmons develops one, forget it. He will end up one of the greatest players in history. I know many will think I'm premature in saying that, and they have a point, but like I said, I trust my eyes. If Zo develops his, he should end up in HOF.

I think Ball may have a harder time doing so because of the weird shot he has. For both players to end up what they could be, they will have to do that.

If both develop as one expects, as you say, they each will find their own unique ways to get what they need done.

Totally agree !!! Although I think Zo is ahead of him on outside shooting at least he attempts to shoot from outside. Lol


Shepherd
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Yes, and as the saying goes, "he shoots from the hip" lol...literally...


kkennon1
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Good article, although when I think about it, I find it funny that some one here have Kuz as good as he might get already, but Randle and Hart, a year older, still with all this upside!!!


userpete1037
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We're about to make a comeback like Daenerys Targaryen "Mother of Dragons" in Game of Thrones....lol!!!!


MAGICLAKEZ
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kkennon1 wrote:

Good article, although when I think about it, I find it funny that some one here have Kuz as good as he might get already, but Randle and Hart, a year older, still with all this upside!!!

I also find it funny when someone here keeps behaving like Randle stole his lunch when he was a kid.


kkennon1
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MAGICLAKEZ wrote:
I also find it funny when someone here keeps behaving like Randle stole his lunch when he was a kid.

No, just Lakers money if they have to match a 20m+ contract. Lol


Axle
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Zo has an ugly shot and I do not believe he will improve using that style of shooting form the hip. And I heard Magic and Perlinka say that they are going to let him continue using that method of shooting. I think it is a big mistake, but I am not an nba coach, so I hope they are correct.

I like everything about Zo except his shooting. The thing is most of his shots are from the three point area. He needs to perfect something a little closer. And he needs to learn how to make free throws. How in the hell is he going to make three's when he can not even make free throws. Too bad they do not get a coach that can work with him on his mechanics on how to shoot.

Also heard that the Lakers might be interested on trading for Kawhi Leonard since Pop and Kawhi are not in the same zone at the moment. Maybe Ingram plus cash for Kawhi would be nice. And forget about LeBron. I think after watching how he has dropped defending in the playoffs, they have finally recognized that LeBron is on his way down, but I am positive he will want the maximum contract if he comes to the lakers because he knows it will be his last hoorah in the nba.


Shepherd
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I'm quite sure it would take more than Ingram to get KL. But I hope you're right.

And yes the problem with Zo, and the shooting woes some here like to ignore or think isn't important, is just what you said...free throw. If he's a lousy 3pt shooter ok we can live with it. If he doesn't have a floater ok. But to miss that many freebees? He's not Shaq after all. That has to change big time, or he'll never be more than half a player...imo...


kkennon1
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Shepherd wrote:
I'm quite sure it would take more than Ingram to get KL. But I hope you're right.

And yes the problem with Zo, and the shooting woes some here like to ignore or think isn't important, is just what you said...free throw. If he's a lousy 3pt shooter ok we can live with it. If he doesn't have a floater ok. BUu to miss that many ft's? He's not Shaw after all. That has to change big time, or he'll never be more than half a player...

Lol, it's going to take a lot more than BI to get KL, there a lot more teams with more to offer.

As far as Zo goes, I actually agree with you Shep(surprise!!!). I just think he will improve in all those areas over next few seasons.


Ray
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In regards to Simmons, this league is a league that can shoot and he can't and I don't think he ever will.

He knows he is so bad he doesn't even try, I think he has taken like 1 3pt the whole year or something ridiculous like that. If he can't shoot, then a good defender can keep his points low pretty easily if they needed to. A good defender can turn him in to Lonzo scoring, if he can't shoot the ball. Sure that hasn't had to happen this year, he is a rookie, most teams don't go in to the game and say lets figure out how to stop SImmons from scoring. If he continues his growth, more attention will be put on him and scoring will become more difficult.

I do not think he will ever be actually considered for an MVP in this era of the NBA. I'm not even sure a triple Double has the same effect anymore. For example if Simmons average a triple double 17/10/10. I don't think that wins you MVP. I also don't think he has any chance at being a top 15 in the history of the NBA.


Shepherd
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kkennon1 wrote:
Lol, it's going to take a lot more than BI to get KL, there a lot more teams with more to offer.

As far as Zo goes, I actually agree with you Shep(surprise!!!). I just think he will improve in all those areas over next few seasons.

You know I meant Shaq, not Shaw lol


Shepherd
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Ray wrote:
In regards to Simmons, this league is a league that can shoot and he can't and I don't think he ever will.

He knows he is so bad he doesn't even try, I think he has taken like 1 3pt the whole year or something ridiculous like that. If he can't shoot, then a good defender can keep his points low pretty easily if they needed to. A good defender can turn him in to Lonzo scoring, if he can't shoot the ball. Sure that hasn't had to happen this year, he is a rookie, most teams don't go in to the game and say lets figure out how to stop SImmons from scoring. If he continues his growth, more attention will be put on him and scoring will become more difficult.

I do not think he will ever be actually considered for an MVP in this era of the NBA. I'm not even sure a triple Double has the same effect anymore. For example if Simmons average a triple double 17/10/10. I don't think that wins you MVP. I also don't think he has any chance at being a top 15 in the history of the NBA.

I'd never seen him play before the other night. And while he has the swagger and is a good player, I didn't quite see what the hubub was about really. I mean in reference to assuming he'll eventually be the GOAT etc. But good for a rookie, yes. Several rooks this season have had shooting issues. Fortunately for us Kuz isn't one of them. Neither is Hart. Also I've read his body is built like LBJ, I didn't see that either. Anyways, not to rain on anyone's parade. It was a sample size of 1 game. But I just didn't see it...not yet...And yes with respect to shooting, it is a shooters league now for the most part. Look at what a difference in Philly it made to add Reddick to the line up. He is the glue man, and a shooter. Before he came they were mediocre with potential. With him they've realized their potential, or are starting to, and are a very good team. Even with their big man injured, again. This is what we need (not the injury), that kind of wily and still relevant vet or 2. I guess we might have them already in IT and Frye. Players said they were good at getting them to communicate better etc. Just didn't get to see them on the floor enough. Or unhurt.

So Zo and Simmons will be limited if they can't shoot. And that's unusual for a PG. Yes I know, Kidd wasn't great at it either. But if you look at most PG's, that's simply not the case. Kidd was an exception. Stockton was money with the floater and at the charity stripe, even tho his outside shot wasn't great. Parker same. Fisher same. They can't always be good at everything. But only being good at passing, and nothing else, will not get it done.


Shepherd
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Anyone else think when all is said and done, the MOST important thing to take care of this summer is Deng? If that's all that happens, and we get the pick who turns out to be decent, and make a move or 2, even nothing major, and everyone comes back healthy and stronger, don't you see us getting maybe 42-45 wins next season? With mostly the same 'healthy' crew? Yes we need a back up PG and need to figure out what to do at the 5. We also need to sign KCP if he's not asking stupid money, and Randle same. Now if they both want insane money, or we're outbid, then it's a setback if we can't replace them. But getting rid of Deng will go a long way imo to a) removing that elephant in the room distraction, and b) freeing up $$ for moves whenever. So I think before they go nuts offering max deals to everyone, they need to address that one.

The players I see absolutely having to be gone this summer, are Ennis, Deng, and Zu. And I'd think we could get something for Zu. Maybe enough to package Deng with him? Something, with a giant trade exception on the side. He's a big man that showed signs of being decent, if not lazy. On another team in new surroundings with renewed expectations, he should be a pretty good player. If he wants to be. If other teams see that, and that he's cheap for now, I think they'd roll the dice on him as a back up at least.


kkennon1
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It's that time of year again!!! Let the rumors fly!!!


kkennon1
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And if this is the cost, NO!!! I'd take chances in 2019 FA.


Axle
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The rumors by Sam, I had already heard them on espn, and they said the Spurs would be on rebuilding mode after this season. They are very interested on some Laker players???????? I hope it is not Kuz. He should be a keeper for the lakers.

Kawhi is not a free agent until 2019, but he is from Los Angeles and has expressed his desire to play for the Lakers. But the lakers want to get him this summer through some kind of trade. LOL! Man it would probably want the whole Laker team for one. NOT GOOD! The thing is if Kawhi does come to the Lakers it would be entice LeBron who has the same agent to come to Los Angeles for his last hoorah.

I would not let our young core be traded. Keep Kuz, Ingram, Randle and Hart, even if we have to wait a couple of more seasons to get what we wanted. Do not trade the whole farm for a player who has a mysteries quad injury in Kawhi and an aging LeBron who has slacked of on defense lately.

Tough decisions to be made by Magic and Perlinka.


Ray
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kkennon1 wrote:
And if this is the cost, NO!!! I'd take chances in 2019 FA.

Kwahi is not worth Ingram Kuzma and picks for one year. He has a player option, so if he does go somewhere, what ever team could be potentially only getting him for one year. The price will not be crazy to get him, it may be a little high but not crazy for one year of his service. Kwahi has a lot of levaerga, he can basically tell every team I am opting out after next year.


Shepherd
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I'd do Ball and Ingram, or Randle and Ball, as long as in either case they take Deng's contract as well. Otherwise pass. SA have to wonder how much longer Pops will be coaching. Hard to know what effect his wife passing will have. Plus he's getting up there himself now.

To me Hart and Kuz are untouchables. Along with one of the other 3 mentioned above. Whichever one. I guess I'd prefer to keep Randle over Ball or Ingram myself. Would Ball/Ingram be enough? I'd go with that. PG13 is absent mostly in the po's so far. He might thrive here again, away from the dominating of Westy. But hard to say.

One caveat on KL, I'd be careful if they go in with a shot. Make sure about that injury, and as much as anything check out his state of mind. Maybe it's not SA he's tired of, just b-ball in general.


kkennon1
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Shepherd wrote:
I'd do Ball and Ingram, or Randle and Ball, as long as in either case they take Deng's contract as well. Otherwise pass. SA have to wonder how much longer Pops will be coaching. Hard to know what effect his wife passing will have. Plus he's getting up there himself now.

To me Hart and Kuz are untouchables. Along with one of the other 3 mentioned above. Whichever one. I guess I'd prefer to keep Randle over Ball or Ingram myself. Would Ball/Ingram be enough? I'd go with that. PG13 is absent mostly in the po's so far. He might thrive here again, away from the dominating of Westy. But hard to say.

One caveat on KL, I'd be careful if they go in with a shot. Make sure about that injury, and as much as anything check out his state of mind. Maybe it's not SA he's tired of, just b-ball in general.

PG13 has been best player in PO's so far for OKC. Agree about checking KL out 1st.

I'd wait for FA personally, you'd pretty much have to gut team to get him over what some other teams could offer.


kkennon1
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Axle wrote:
The rumors by Sam, I had already heard them on espn, and they said the Spurs would be on rebuilding mode after this season. They are very interested on some Laker players???????? I hope it is not Kuz. He should be a keeper for the lakers. Kawhi is not a free agent until 2019, but he is from Los Angeles and has expressed his desire to play for the Lakers. But the lakers want to get him this summer through some kind of trade. LOL! Man it would probably want the whole Laker team for....


SPQR
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Ray, You make Simmons decision not to shoot threes out like it was a joke or something. Actually it shows how smart he is. He knows he can't shoot them so instead of killing his team like Ball did in so many games, over and over by trying them, he did the things he knows he can and stayed away from the things he can't, like a smart player should. So Simmons has shown at that least that part of being smart, something the supposedly intelligent player Ball did not, all year, right? Your dismissal of teams not trying to stop or even mitigate Simmons from scoring simply is not true. Just as teams quickly figured out how to play Ball and make him do his worst in scoring, so they tried with Simmons. He was not some kind of exception where teams said for no reason, Hey, let's just not try stop him. That doesn't happen in pro sports where the scouting reports come in fast and are acted upon even faster. I mean just look at this Miami series. He is putting up good numbers. And these two teams are now playing each other every night, with days off. So the Heat know exactly how the want to stop Simmons. They can't and it's not intentional as you seem to say. So I would ask you, why is he putting up good numbers against Miami, even without Embid the first two games? Did the Heat forget hes out there like you seem to indicate teams did all year? That posit you threw out there doesn't add up now in the playoffs or during the season. Just trying to make an excuse why he scored so well his rookie year. Simmons averaged 15.8 points a game this year on 54.4 percent shooting.....


Ray
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SPQR wrote:
Ray,

You make Simmons decision not to shoot threes out like it was a joke or something. Actually it shows how smart he is. He knows he can't shoot them so instead of killing his team like Ball did in so many games, over and over by trying them, he did the things he knows he can and stayed away from the things he can't, like a smart player should. So Simmons has shown at that least that part of being smart, something the supposedly intelligent player Ball did not, all year, right?

Your dismissal of teams not trying to stop or even mitigate Simmons from scoring simply is not true. Just as teams quickly figured out how to play Ball and make him do his worst in scoring, so they tried with Simmons. He was not some kind of exception where teams said for no reason, Hey, let's just not try stop him. That doesn't happen in pro sports where the scouting reports come in fast and are acted upon even faster.

You're attempts to downplay Simmons fly in the face of facts. You might feel that way now and that is your opinion, but in a few years you will change your view. He will force it and there won't be any debate or argument at all about what Simmons is.

I'm glad you know how I will feel in a couple of years. My main overall point was saying I do not think he will ever win the MVP in the league and also ever be a top 15 player in the history of NBA.

If doesn't matter if you disagree or not, someone said they thought opposite and I was just giving my side. Saying no way


kkennon1
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SPQR, don't know if Simmons will be player you think, but in a few years I think Ball will be closer to Simmons level than you think. Do know about anyone else, but as far as changing view, doesn't matter to me if he becomes best player in league ( which I highly doubt) , he's not a laker. So I'm pulling for players we have to become the best. Lol


Shepherd
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So Ball is a few years behind Simmons developmentally? They're both rookies. How can they be so far apart? Are they close in age? Seems a mighty wide chasm if so. Between even just the first few players taken in the draft.


kkennon1
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Shepherd wrote:
So Ball is a few years behind Simmons developmentally? They're both rookies. How can they be so far apart? Are they close in age? Seems a mighty wide chasm if so. Between even just the first few players taken in the draft.

Simmons is 6'10" with NBA body. Can bull his way to rim like Randle. That's the difference. And while Simmons didn't play last season, he had a season to get familiar with NBA.

Do exactly know what you mean about chasm and 1st few players in draft ?


Shepherd
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kkennon1 wrote:
Simmons is 6'10" with NBA body. Can bull his way to rim like Randle. That's the difference. And while Simmons didn't play last season, he had a season to get familiar with NBA.

Do exactly know what you mean about chasm and 1st few players in draft ?

Mitchell and Tatum also have NBA bodies. In a way so does Hart for his position. Ball not so much. Part of why I was and am not in favor of his being on our team.

By chasm I mean the difference in talent between 1-2-3 etc. Seems significant, except for the few outliers who ruin an otherwise perfectly good stat lol


kkennon1
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Shepherd wrote:
Mitchell and Tatum also have NBA bodies. In a way so does Hart for his position. Ball not so much. Part of why I was and am not in favor of his being on our team.

By chasm I mean the difference in talent between 1-2-3 etc. Seems significant, except for the few outliers who ruin an otherwise perfectly good stat lol

Than by all means, get him off team, and ever one else that comes into league without being strong enough right away. Lmao


Shepherd
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kkennon1 wrote:
Than by all means, get him off team, and ever one else that comes into league without being strong enough right away. Lmao

You've ignored the salient point I was making there...


kkennon1
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Shepherd wrote:
You've ignored the salient point I was making there...

Think the point is you're not going to ever give Zo a break. Even if his shooting improves. Lol


Shepherd
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kkennon1 wrote:
Think the point is you're not going to ever give Zo a break. Even if his shooting improves. Lol

Well first that's a big IF. And IF it does we can talk then. But no, the point was there is a significant gap between the early pics in a draft. More than one would expect at that level.


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