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How can the Lakers get out of this mess?



"I'm not sorry," said Magic Johnson on television last week. He did not talk about his 140-character game recaps on Twitter or his frequent exclamation point use as I do, sorry. What magic does not regret was his short duration as the Lakers president. He regrets not signing a team of jettisoned role players surrounding LeBron James, nor does he regret looking at Paul George, which led to the league's biggest ever manipulative fine and was the first of three allegations of manipulation that hit the Lakers during the last year. He does not regret the public way in which the Lakers went after Anthony Davis, and he was confident that as hell did not detract from the public way he left the organization. After all, now he can tweet about which player he wants. He is in his own words a free bird again.

The Lakers were to undo the entire 201

8-19 season. Not one face of the franchise has gone rude. On Monday, ESPN's Baxter Holmes reported a number of errors in the organization, starting with hiring Magic and Rob Pelinka in 2017, none of which had any front office experience. Too brief to recreate the embarrassment: Magic and Pelinka chose a player in the draft without hearing the team's scouts; The working environment was hostile, the turnover nailed, and several employees had panic attacks; a club legend expired in darkening fashion, the media says before the owner Jeanie Buss, Pelinka or, well, anyone; Bus could have delegated ownership responsibility to Linda Rambis, Kurt Rambi's wife, who allegedly "controls and manipulates Jeanie"; various players knew they were on the trading block for several months, devastating team chemistry; Pelinka often sat on the head coach Luke Walton's pregame and half-time meetings, which were "strange" and harmful; after-Walton coaching quest ended with their third choice, Frank Vogel, taking the job for options 1 and 2 went away in the midst of dysfunction; Vogel then sat with assistant coach Jason Kidd, who has a history of domestic violence.

Oh, and Pelinka could have lied about Kobe Bryant eating dinner with Heath Ledger.

This must be as bad as it gets. Right? There is nowhere for the Lakers to go but up. But how do they solve this mess? There are a few steps the franchise can take – even with the same management team – to return to the competency, including these three:

Make the wise, uncontroversial, clear draft elections

Usually the organizations that most Pressure to do well in the draft are small markets that are not attractive free-agent destinations or are markedly pushing the pay ceiling limit. These franchises have no alternative to the draft to acquire new talent. But the Lakers are nowhere near such a situation. L.A. can clear up to $ 32.5 million in hollow space this summer and is both a big market and city players wanting to live in so much that many NBA stars are using their offseasons there. But also players speak and read and watch the news, and sunshine does not mean much when there is a cloud over the organization, and Clippers offer an alternative Southern California opportunity in the same building. In the event that the free agency becomes infertile for Lakers or worse, a repeat of last season's meme team, the franchise must seam the draft.

Per Holmes, last year's draft, was one of the earliest disturbing moments of Johnson and Pelinka diarrhea. The Lakers chose Moritz Wagner with the 25th overall, a choice that "shocked" the Lakers scouts and staff sitting in a separate room. Wagner, a center, averaged 10.4 minutes and 4.8 points last season.

Mirakelt, Los Angeles, who entered the 2019 lottery selection with a 9.4 percent chance of landing in the top four, landed no. 4 pick in the draft. (If the pelicans had not been numbered 1, I would be reluctant to call NBA lottery conspiracy theories theories anymore.) Pelinka will only have the fourth parent to work with, as the Lakers had to convey their second round pick to Atlanta as part of the 2015 agreement LA made to acquire [ candles in memoriam candles ] Roy Hibbert.

Front office should not take any risks in draft thinking Anthony Bennett) (No, let's get closer to home: think Javaris Crittenton.) (Sam Jacobson?) (Mark Madsen?) (Brian Cook?) ([ Whispers. ] Lonzo Ball?). The Ringer s (excellent!) Draft Guide suggests You & # 39; Other Hunter, the National Champion Forward in Virginia. Three of the Lakers top scorers are ahead in LeBron James, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma, but Hunter would provide the two areas that the roster needs most, spot-up shooting and defensive versatility.

Identify and find a Free Agent Without Tampering

Look, Magic has probably addressed the Lakers & # 39; manipulation problems the moment he apologized from the job. Two of the three manipulation fines received by the organization in the past year were his work, not with Magic's recent stinging defeat event involving Ben Simmons, which the NBA found was not in violation of common rules. But that reputation is not gone (what a fun farewell gift!), And the Lakers will be seen close to June 30.

L. A. are often associated with the greatest possible names: Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker, Tobias Harris, Khris Middleton and Al Horford. But these connections have not always been positive. In December, Durant called "LeBron's environment" poisonous, though he added that it was not LeBron's fault; Kawhi has been linked to the second L.A. team for several months; and ESPN's Ramona Shelburne does not expect Thompson to give the Lakers a meeting.

Next tier of Irving, Butler or Walker has reached if Pelinka can sell the Lakers laurels in a league-approved manner. And while it is ignorant to suggest that franchises do not have premature, technically illegal conversations with free agents of interest, estimates are key, and last year LA has been the highest team in the NBA.

Move past Anthony Davis Soap Opera

The Anthony Davis trade that never reached a new level of debacle for the Lakers during the 2019 trading deadline. Davis & # 39; s agent, Rich Paul, went public with the trade request before informing the pelican organization, which quite frankly is quite rude; many players in the Lakers lockers were well aware that they were on the brink of being dismissed and causing cracks; Magic insinuated that New Orleans acted in bad faith and did not intend to deal with Davis despite the fact that he heard unpacking packages, something that a Lakers front officer called "very arrogant on our side", later adds: "I don't think we have a plan "for free agency.

When Davis originally declared his intention not to re-write with New Orleans, he was all the pelicans. Now that New Orleans has turned its front office appointment of David Griffin to run the team as general manager and acquired the first overall draft, the franchise has a different perspective and more options. But it is important to remember that the Lakers, no matter how dark it now looks, also have assets. The same young core they allegedly offered in February last year is still under contract, if not slightly devalued due to health issues that close key seasons' seasons. (Lonzo Ball suffered a left ankle sprain; Brandon Ingram experienced clots.) The other LeBron decided to sign, Los Angeles became a wind-up team; The Lakers don't have a win-now roster. It is worth equipping the package of players offered to AD in conversations with a franchise that is desperate for change (like the guides and a trade for Bradley Beal) or with a team that simply has practical things that the Lakers have need (like shooting). Everything to bring the inflammation down.


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