Mitch Kupchak: Lakers Must Develop Identity For Free Agents To Consider Them
Mitch Kupchak: Lakers Must Develop Identity For Free Agents To Consider Them
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Things have not gone the Los Angeles Lakers way this season leading many fans to already begin looking ahead to the off-season in hopes of some positive changes, which is where general manager Mitch Kupchak will need to work his magic.

Many are looking towards the team’s top-three protected draft pick in hopes of landing top prospect, Ben Simmons, but the Lakers will also be looking at free agency in hopes of making a big splash.

If they are to do that, however, Kupchak believes the Lakers must develop an identity for free agents to consider them as he told Sirius XM NBA Radio:

The Lakers have failed to lure in their intended targets in free agency the last couple of off-seasons, in large part because there is no clear direction for the roster. The young players had proven very little and no one knew what to expect from Kobe Bryant. This led to meetings like the one with LaMarcus Aldridge in which the team focused more on off-court opportunities than actual basketball.

The biggest prize of this off-season is clearly Kevin Durant, and the Lakers will surely be looking to bring him to Los Angeles, though so will the majority of the NBA. Either way, the Lakers will have an improving young core, possibly another top-three pick, and enough cap room to offer two players max contracts. Nothing is guaranteed, but this does seem like the Lakers best chance to really make an impact in free agency.

He just figured that out? Nobody wants to play for a terrible team no matter where they at on the map. Instead of chasing these big name free agents for the last 2 years the lakers could’ve been building a good team that looked competitive. Now I’m more interested in what they do this offseason because your coach don’t have a system, so we don’t have an identity and he’s some of the blame.

  • My fellow Laker fans prepare yourselves. I’m telling you now we will not land any of the big boy FA this summer. The rookies are still too raw for FA to know how good they will be. The team also lacks Identity. The front office is a huge question mark in regards to direction. With that said I do believe this current team will start to play better. Clarkson is showing that he is a solid player. Randle had a nice double double last night. If he can keep that consistent. With him and Clarkson we can start to form an Identity.

  • My hopes is that if we do land a top 3 pick and grab Simmons then we won’t need a Durant. We could sign Rondo to help groom Russell like Nash helped Clarkson, sign Drummond (definitely worth a max), bring hibbert back for bench money. Then our starting 5 looks much better, and so does our bench. With thibs as head coach

    Nance Jr

    I don’t think that sounds bad at all. I don’t see Durant coming here even if God pointed to our side, there’s no way. Drummond maybe, he could he a focal point and we have the money to offer him. Rondo can still ball, let’s not forget about that, he’s shown it this season and he can also groom Russell on how to pass better, Russell is a better scorer than Rondo so when the pass isn’t necessarily there there’s his shot (damn near automatic from mid range). I think a vet pg is what Russell needs. Which unlike Clarkson, he hasn’t had. I promise that’s what Russel needs. And now our starting 5, although young can run the floor. Nobody needs to be like the warriors, they’re their own team. We need to relax.. And develop some identity for ourselves. Not let tanking become a trend because after this year. I’m over the excuses of why the LAKERS can’t get it together.

  • The Lakers have had free agents considering them…but let them walk while holding out for the big name (could really use Ed Davis right about now).

    Fools need to get off the home run line of thinking and use FA to add depth. Can get THE MAN via the draft or trade.

  • Funny for Kupcake to comment on this since he’s done a big disservice to the masses. One would’ve thought with his experience that he’d been able to add depth at the starting positions to help lure top talent to the Lakers since DH’s departure. Don’t think this FO had a clear cut plan since those days but their departure can’t come quick enough.

  • They’ve been tanking for the last two years…they knew they weren’t going to sign anybody – they just went through the motions to keep the fans happy.

  • Please stop with the Ed Davis talk. If the Lakers were going to keep a free agent, Jordan Hill would have been the better option. He is now the starter for the Pacers and is doing a great job in that system. Davis was a reserve at best for the Lakers.

  • Just shows they had no clear cut plan. No diss to Mitch when I say this but given some view him as the catalyst for the y2k Lakers success days thought he’d show more astuteness in placing a better product on the floor since DH’s departure.

    Some viewed those days 14&15 (seasons) as FO saving cap to help them offer a top tier star a big contract but they forgot to build a starting unit first to help increase their odds in making that happen. Now the masses want them gone which = the pro’s and cons of not have a clear set plan.

  • Agreed, question why did we not resign players like wayne ellington or price that were better suited players and jordan hill?

  • Most are missing the obvious issue here…NO SUPERSTARS WANT TO GO TO A TEAM ALONE! You need a superstar to attract another superstar. Years ago, guys might be willing to go alone to a team if the pay was high enough, but in the most recent years, guys don’t want to go to a team where they are going to be the only superstar.

    However, another option is to go with a plan where you have a REALLY GOOD roster of 2nd level players from 1-12. In that plan you try to beat teams with depth instead of superstar power. This is the method in which the Pistons won their championship with Billups and Hamilton. None of their players were top 5 at their positions, but as a team, they were top 5 for about 4-5 years.

    The Lakers just need to pick a strategy and stick with it.

  • that’s why make a package kinda like Dlo-Hibbert deal(adding SwagP/Lou/brwon/upshaw an option depending on the player/s to be acquired)

  • I wish I knew. The Lakers have “started over” at least 3 times since Phil Jackson left. No superstar is coming to an organization like that. Cleveland went from the lottery to the finals in one summer, not simply because of Lebron James. They went because of how they leveraged his return with signing a list of other players. Rebuilding doesn’t have to take years…you can do it in a really short time if you make the right decisions. Also, you can go from lottery to championships very quickly.

  • They have made that mistake every year since Phil instead of going with what they have a sticking with a plan.

  • nah, Luke is available, Scott should of retired as a coach when the lakers lost to 6ers

  • If the Lakers could trade for a superstar that is under contract for at least another year to 2 years, and manage to keep Clarkson and Randle in the process, that would be enough to attract an additional superstar next summer.

  • lets just say it fas are not lakers fanatics like shaq shaq wanted to be a laker and they built a solid team aroung even though shaq said he wanted to come to the lakers no matter what we dont have players thatpeople can lookon like 1996 where a fa can say hey they may not wina championship but I at least see growth moving forward !

  • still a good(but failed) plan though, Kobe+Melo+Pau+LMA not to mention JC,Randle,SwagP,Nance jr,MWP….vets will come

  • This is not on Scott. If a guy has ever had TEAMS (not just 1 team) that were successful, that is proof enough that success can happen running the show. He needs a specific type of roster, yes. But to say that he can’t be the coach of a successful team would be going against the proof of the past.

    Gentry is struggling with the Pelicans, does that mean he isn’t a good coach? No…it means that he needs the right players and situation for the success to come.

  • no it was notgood man you need role players even shaq and kobe said even though they were superstars they had role players benchthatwere reliable!

  • The Lakers could have gotten Melo before now. They could have kept Pau as well. They made the wrong decisions.

  • trading away holiday and gordon is the solution for pels…for the lakers it’s a new coach with a new and better system

  • Well pau was already gone whatI was mad about is we held out resigning some role players like ed and wayne and jordan that played there hearts out to gamble for guys the lakers knew they would be rejected youcan not get every superstar from other teams with money!

  • Here’s the thing, Okafor REALLY wanted to be a Laker. If this was 20 years ago, he would have been. No way would the Lakers not have drafted a guy that was a proven winner in college that also wanted to be a Laker. On top of that he was a center…how many centers have the Lakers retired as HOFamers?

    Okafor was a no brainer in my book. The fact that they missed that one, makes me concerned about next summer.

  • JC,SwagP,Randle,Nance jr,MWP and other vets are nuff help for Kobe,Melo,Pau and LMA for sure

  • Agreed, I wanted if we did not pick okafor at leastpozingis whowanted to be a laker and grew up a kobe fan, we choseanarrogant big talk no game loser in russell and mitchcupcake thinks we hit a good corner man nowonderwhy the lakers got rid of him as a player he qwas soft!

  • I was speaking about when Pau was still a Laker. Obviously he left the year before. As for Ed and Wayne…neither was worth the money that they wanted. That’s the truth. Neither is ready to be a starter. Jordan was. He’s the one they messed up with. However, keep in mind, they were putting their focus on Randle as well. Jordan and Randle would not have been a good mix.

  • well I was saying those players including jordan becausewe got brandonbass at the 5 really its like putting malik rose on shaq!

  • The system isn’t the issue. A new system might get you a few more wins, but that’s it. Keep in mind, Young said after the Sixers game that the reason for the loss was effort. Nobody talked much about that, but isn’t that the SAME thing that Byron has been saying? Well, they came out last night and played with effort, and guess what….they won.

    The system isn’t the problem. The Lakers don’t have the right mix of players to be successful.

  • okafor played like trash in his 2nd workout lakers had to stopped it while Dlo burned the net like he was curry92nd workout)—>this is the reason why okafor dropped

  • Jordan Hill is another one — either he or Davis would be a better option at backup center than Bass/Black…especially at the $4m the Pacers paid for him.

    Not mad at Ellington, but Williams was an upgrade imho.

  • I always viewed those years as tanking for draft picks (as in that WAS the plan)…they would just never admit it publicly. Still, I acknowledge that I’m in the minority.

  • curry pleaseyour delusional the only reason cupcake chose him because byron wanted hinmfor a reason I dont know he is a clear bust!

  • Who is crying? I’m talking on the board…isn’t that what we are here to do?

  • ah they werent getting melo stupid rememberwhen he took too much time and the lakers waited dumbly and lost players!

  • There are different stories out there because I read a report that had Kupchak as the one wanting Russell.

  • you sound like you’re b!@#hing about everything being said on these boards, for example “did it make you feel good to say that”?

  • Well yes but The story I read was reallyfact thatbyron influenced mitch weak cupcake the lakere at least going to get porzingis dumb byron messing up and insulting fans hes a bald loser and I betyou the lakers games nextyeras wont have a lot of sales!

  • Hibbert= 15.7mil
    Davis- 7 mil

    assuming lakers opted for okafor
    if lakers waived sacre and kelly, lakers should of had 9.9mil$ to sign Rondo, might as well sign nate the great

    Randle,nance jr

  • You missed the LOL in front of that statement. It was a funny statement to read so i let him know that I laughed. AGAIN, isn’t that why we are on here? If we wanted a place to simply read about the NBA wouldn’t we just go to a news site and not a blog?

  • subjective, you have a point, scott needs a great pg to run his system, okafor aint defender nor a shooter too

  • Funny how I said on this site before the draft that Rondo and Okafor was the answer this past summer. Guys were killing me on here for that. They said I was crazy. Now…it doesn’t look as crazy.

  • i dont see anybody else doing any b!@#tching around here but you, have a good day bro dont reply to me and ill do the same.

  • russell is no shooter overrated passing turnover machine big mouth no game and an spoiled idiot 19 year old!

  • I don’t care about the Okafor’s defense right now. I care about his offense. The Lakers could have had a low post presence and a guy to put in the pick and roll. I would have liked to at least give Randle and him a chance on defense.

  • was an okafor fan, but still most know that Dlo is a project unlike wiggins/parker who was ready…dude is a 2-3 yr poject just like maybe gordon and greek freak

  • Randle is a better perimeter than post defender, jahlil right now is rebounding like hibbert—which is bad— at the same time not playing enough effort on defense just to not be a liability at all….he needs a nerlens noel/embiid by his side and lakers doesnt have one unless upshaw makes a miracle growth

  • Nobody else is whining about my posts but you! Quit whining and change your diaper baby!

  • if hes aproject why have him projects socalled like hinm should be 2ndround we need building and talent not overhyped bust products that start and are terrible, question if therewas a new employee at your job would you keephim on if he screwed up like russell pal?

  • same here, but then lakers went for Dlo and hibbert so I just go with the ride, still monitoring jahlil,winslow and porz tho

  • first of all idiot okafor rebounds and is stronger than weak hibbert who falls to his butt looking like an embarasing idiot he owned roy hibbert last game

  • He’s on a team that is going no where. Defense begins with effort. How much effort would you give for a team you never wanted to play for because the team you really wanted to play for turned you down? Okafor will be gone as a free agent and his career will take off then.

  • let’s just accept the fact that he wont bloom until 2nd/3rd year….but among the 3 youngins, I prefer Randle and JC to stay

  • it has already taken off past russell you dont here russell being mentioned forrookie of the year

  • Kobe has done his best when paired with an offensive big. Kobe would have done well with Okafor. Probably would have helped Kobe play better by drawing the defense.

    The Lakers have no player that can attract a double team…every great team has at least 1 player that can do that.

  • yeah, but right now it looks like the lakers are his best choice in 2014….Kobe-Melo-LMA is just too much on offense(but terrible on defense though)

  • True…It hurts considering that the Lakers had the option in front of them. It would be different had the Lakers picked third. They would have taken whoever was left. However, they had the option. I think they were so focused on not getting KAT that they didn’t handle this situation well.

  • then trade him while he has some value with hibbert,bass,Lou/SwagP?(if for an all star player only)

  • Idont think its even that no excuses Iwontwatch the lakers much afterkobe leaves except forjulius and jordanbecause theyare thefuture butthestupid fo made a stupid pick and whois going to take a bust from the lakers!

  • please hibbert has no good d Isee toooslow gets pushed around like a child even stephen curry pushed him out of the way pathetic for a grown man to fall and be a loser!

  • would need davis to stay if that’s the case, but then again Rondo,okafor and davis will be hacked by players all day long

  • Iguessyou forget if nobody trades withthe lakers now and they get worse more nobody is dealing with us!

  • Okafor is making 67% of his free throws. Not bad at all. Jordan Hill would have been the big man in that scenario, not Davis.

    Davis is a reserve at best.

  • Dude you must be an oblivious smoking person in a whacked world, we are getting beat up everday as lakers! the stupid fo does not really care rightnowforthe fans they are justtaking money and I lost mymoney seeing these amateurs losehorribly upin vegas!

  • hill and okafor at the frontcourt? lol, davis should be paired with Okafor/Randle, which means close to no PT for jhill

  • Western conference not looking that good. Wolves currently in 8th with a 8-10 record.
    Lakers should have been in that playoff picture

  • Where Daryl Peek @?

    Nokafor’s second fight of that night in Boston?

    Is that not immaturity DP?.. aside of asking for trouble? lol

    http:/ /www . tmz . com/2015/12/02/jahlil-okafor-fight-second-video-boston/

  • lol, I am concerned of course but what will the lakers do?
    tank games? nope,trade Kobe? nope,fire scott? most likley nope, tho I hate as caoach

  • rim protection ispartpaint defense numbskull god readyour basketball more countless lobs overhibbert stupid fouls and a c who cant get a fg% over 5000 and falls to the floor easilycant rebound and gotoutmusled inthe lastseconds by a 19 year oldokafor how unmanly and pathetic is that!


  • That is the sad reality. It’s funny because people were saying that the Lakers didn’t stand a chance based on how deep the west is. However, the west is not showing itself to be that deep. There are maybe four great teams so far out 15. The others are all simply winning because somebody has to each night….LOL.

  • Why are you so high on Davis? Are we talking the same guy…Ed Davis? You must have seen something that I missed because I haven’t see anything to make me feel like he deserves any attention. He doesn’t provide much outside of hustle.

  • This offseason will be the true test. We will have about 60mil or so in cap space. We need to sign 2 big free agents in addition to our likely top 3 pick. If our FO decides to do what its done the past 3 seasons and sign 1 year deals and provide below average mediocrity, then Kupchak, Jim Buss gotta go. We need to sign 2 players like Hassan Whiteside and Demar Derozan imo. Don’t just go all in with Durant and let these other stars fly away as usual

  • Lakers dodged a bullet there. Guy doesn’t really have a winning attitude. I learned that when he bailed on his summer league team to go to an ESPY’s award show for which he was not even nominated for anythiing. He’s in it for the money and fame.

  • The problem I have with getting Simmons (and it’s very minuscule) is that he plays the Point Forward position and not SF. Could he be like a Durant? Sure, but the jumper isn’t there right now and he’d need to be able to shoot the 3-ball to stretch the court. Randle is working on his, but the fit doesn’t seem there yet.

    I mean you don’t worry about fits when it comes to talent, because the great coaches find out how to make it work (which we don’t have). If we continue to go down this road and lose, and somehow manage to keep our pick, we can’t go after a Durant. It’d take time away from Simmons because he’s going to play the SF position no matter what. Drummond would be the only guy I go for this offseason, worthy of max money. Roy would be a pleasure to bring back, but his bad hands worry me in the P&R for Russell. He needs a big who can make the tough grabs in the lane. So tired of this kid’s passes get fumbled away.

  • Patrick, it’s a little harsh to say that a rookie, drafted by a team that has now intentionally tanked the past 3 seasons, doesn’t have a winning attitude because of his actions. Is it possible that he REALLY doesn’t want to be here? Would you blame him? He had a winning attitude at Duke.

    He wanted to be a Laker and the Lakers chose not to draft him.


  • If the Lakers get the #1 pick they will draft Simmons. Remember, they said last summer…draft the best available regardless of fit. I disagree with that mentality, but clearly that is what the Lakers do now.

    Far be it for me (a fan) to actually suggest that winning teams do so by getting players that fit together well versus players that are simply talented.

  • mitch cupcake realizing he has not done his job at all wow mitch you figured it out that fas reject you!

  • No one has ever had a critical comment about Bass before this year. That says a lot. Clearly he is in the wrong lineup for him to be successful. He was great for Boston and Orlando. He was almost a 6th man award winner a couple years. He is good at what he does…but when you ask him to do things he isn’t good at…he looks bad. That’s the nature of role players…they fit specific roles.

  • agreed simmons looks like a lebron inthat he is serious does not fool around and has the lebron mentality we need of going hard and fighting! pluswe need asf!

  • Again, the best coaches put the players in position’s to succeed. It’s that simple. How they fit is completely on the coaches. That’s their jobs. The GM’s job is to accumulate talent, no matter how they “fit”.

    I have no problem going best player available with that high of pick. Lakers went with Russell because of that same premise. And we’re gradually seeing improvement each game. The future is going to be fine

  • hibbert is a disgrace canteven get a rebound strong and yetcurrypush him and rebound over him pathetic!

  • That’s not true. You think if a pg was the best player they would take another pg?

  • I thought it was the second video of the same fight? Dude was on FIRE that night!!!

  • That is actually not true. The best coaches in the world can not make players fit that don’t fit. If a coach has a system, they need guys that fit that system. For instance, a ball dominant point guard would never have worked in a Phil Jackson Triangle system. The point guard was typically reserved to being a spot up perimeter shooter. So, having a point guard that couldn’t shoot while needing the ball to be effective would never have worked no matter how great the coach.

    Here’s another example. Would Shaq have worked in the GSW’s system?

  • come on bro, there’s no way they would take another pg if a center or sf is available in top 3

  • That’s what they did this past summer. Clarkson was playing the point already. Russell may be better at some things, but it is not enough to waste a pick like that. The back court should not have been the focus of the draft especially when big men are hard to come by. The Lakers could have gotten a backup point guard in free agency.

  • yeah and not gotten sucky d huertas whenwe could of gotten ish smith otr leandro barbosa even hometown andre miller!

  • Unless that center or small forward has “a better upside”, they will take the point guard and try to figure it out later.

    Didn’t the Sixers select 3 centers as their lottery picks 3 years in a row? Are the Lakers currently showing themselves to be any wiser with their decisions?

  • When team’s interview their rookie options, take them to dinner etc. like they did with Okafor, Russell and Mudiay. They learn a lot about the person they are going to be taking on. He won with Duke, but he didn’t really impact the final game much at all. In fact he has always carried a lazy tag with him. No doubt his attitude would have also have been a reason the FO passed on him. I watched his Lakers pre-draft workout video, and he looked out of breath after doing 12 or so reps from mid range. I’m pretty sure they noticed that too. A good work ethic goes a long way towards your draft stock.

  • did you read whatIsaid thats whatthey just did already had a pg like a liliar d paul parker or somethingand wASTED A PICK WORSE THANSAM BOWIE TING!

  • Russell wasn’t really a point guard in college. He was a combo guard. I get that this is talking about the upcoming draft, but if the FO is already showing a pattern for their decisions, what makes you think they will suddenly change?

  • Y’all keep saying that they can play together. GSW thought Curry and Ellis could play together as well. How did that end? Both of them were combo guards as well.

  • what are you talking about? Russell plays pg and Clarkson plays sg. You think Okafor and Randle would have been a better fit?


  • I would have at least wanted to try it out. Plus, if it didn’t work, It would have been better moving Randle, than having to move Clarkson.

  • Again, a little harsh. It could be said that the tournament for Russell wasn’t great either….notice I said tournament, not just one game?

    My thing is this, when you have a guy that is projected as the most NBA ready, you take him.


  • He says this after his entire plan was to sign average players to one year contracts to hoard cap space then chase after big name free agents. It doesn’t help when players are coming in and out. A team can never gain an identity that way so it starts with him.

  • For once Patrick is right. Could you imagine how worse this guy would be in LA? He loves attention. Say what you want about D’Angelo but he seems like a laid back kid who knows how to handle his business, probably because he had to live on his own since he was like 14 years old. Maturity is not something Okafor has.

  • I agree. In thinking back, the Lakers should have gone with Brown or D’Antoni and stuck with them. By now, they would have built a team around their systems.


  • Maybe so, but at least they would still have something to start with. Right now, when you talk about the main guy(s) for this team, our top draft pick is not mentioned. That’s a problem. Okafor would have been a foundation for the team to build around.

  • This is really unsettling to be honest. It reads like Mitch has no idea what he’s doing.

  • Well what we are seeing is not NBA ready at all, in fact Towns and Porzingis were not considered as NBA ready as Okafor, but they both look far more ready. The 76ers actually played better when Okafor wasn’t there in their only win against us. What was he 3-11 at some point? Didn’t even need to double team him. Roy Hibbert actually had it easy against him due to his lack of mobility and inability to exploit Roy on the pick and roll like most teams have been doing. You can’t really compare Duke with Ohio State. Okafor had some exceptionally good team mates, two of whom ended up 1st round picks in their own right, and another two will will likely end up 1st round picks this season (Allen and Amile)

  • I dontwant a big mouth arrogant saying Iam the bestwhen i am not plaer who has no emotion or play or heart!

  • really they beatus upworsewhen pokafor was there wherewere you watching the game man?!

  • LOL…nobody is saying that Okafor isn’t NBA ready. He is be mentioned for ROY. HIs numbers are solid across the board.

    It is a lot tougher getting up for games in Philly than LA.

  • Yes should have. They started the season off poorly and the bad habits continued. They could have won the Timberwolves game easily! Too many close games blown, Lou and Kobe to blame for a few of those with missed shots.

  • What did I tell you, I’m not going to engage you in conversation until you fix that space bar button.

  • No thanks. Lakers should bring in Jarrett Jack from the Nets. A good veteran PG.

  • What did Itell you russell is a bust and you are a sissy batewomen who can not take the truth about bust Russell!

  • We already knew Okafor was more nba-ready and Russell will take some time to develop.

  • No way, just forget about Kevin Durant. Never gonna happen. Give it up now, and you won’t be disappointed next summer. He’s not coming to L.A. (unless it’s to the Clippers).

  • If the talent isn’t there the pieces wont fit. The Coach and GM must work together to make sure they players they get fit the system in place. Now if the Princeton is a poor fit for Russell. That’s on the GM and his pick. The coach and offense was already in place. Russell was not the best player available. The

    analytics said he had the biggest star potential. But it also said he had the biggest bust potential as well. The Lakers being criticize for their poor analytics department. Took Russell as a response to that. However to this point Russell looks to be closer to biggest bust of the draft potential. I’m not seeing improvement with Russell. He barley putting up three assist a game. Wall was burning him so bad. He wasn’t in the 4th qtr of last nights game. If you cant stay in front of the speedy guards in the league you wont see much action in crunch time.

  • agreed at least onthis whywould kd go to a clueless lakers fo when he could dobetter iin washington or stay in okc!

  • and thatsalldude kd is not going tocome they metwith lma and look at how thatcame out!

  • Guys, I get your points about Okafor but I still would have selected him. I bring that up even now because the Lakers continue to show themselves as not being good decision makers. Plus, my thoughts about choosing Okafor are not independent from the rest of the roster. Clarkson was showing real promise as a starting point guard. Why disrupt that by moving him to shooting guard so early in his development? Kobe has always been a shooting guard, why disrupt that in his final season and move him to small forward? Randle hadn’t proven if he was even a keeper before the start of the season, why focus on him when determining if you should draft a center?

    I wonder what would have happened had the Lakers been able to trade Randle on draft day for maybe the Kings pick and took Stein with that pick and also drafted Okafor. OUr starting lineup would have been Clarkson, Bryant, Stein and Okafor. We could have put Young at small forward and all of sudden there is a starting lineup.

  • He’s only in the race because he is putting up empty numbers on a very poor team. Like MCW’s did a couple years ago. Towns and Porzingis are the only two really in the ROY race. Mudiay may join them if he can actually start shooting the ball better and stopping the turnovers. Okafor is currently #3 on the rookie board. I just don’t see the big deal in him, the guy is the slowest 19 year old I’ve ever seen

  • not even speedy pgs how doyou let an undrafted beno urih or forgothis name on the 76ers litleguy ouwork you!

  • Nah. I’m not that sold on that being the plan, that was just a lucky byproduct of their failure to put together a quality team.

  • You don’t want a player who says he’s the best? Kobe said it when he was still riding the bench. D’Angelo should be fine. He’s just working through the motions and figuring things out.

  • Okafor wouldn’t have worked, especially in the west, where so many teams play uptempo and go small. And Okafor can’t play defense

  • So why not go with NBA ready over development? Why choose to take the long path when a short path is sitting right in front of you? Okafor would have attracted other players.

  • JJ I’m with you. The knock on Okafor was on his defense. Yet Russell couldn’t get into the game in the 4th because Wall was torching him like all the speedy PG do to him. At least Okafor can give you 18pt a game. Russell barley averaging 3 assist a game. Didn’t the Lakers bring him here because he can pass the ball? Wheres the court vision and passing we heard so much about.

  • Unfortunately I have to agree. Timing is very bad as our young guns are far from ready for the next level.

  • It is way too early to make that determination. What are you basing it on? Memphis has been a playoff team for the past how many years, with 2 slow moving big men. The Spurs have Duncan who isn’t fast. GSW has Bogus as their starting big. Why not Okafor?

  • That’s what I’m seeing too and if they aren’t careful, next off-season will get be filled with bad decisions.

  • Gasol, Duncan and Bogut are all defensive monsters. Okakor’s weakness is his defense…

  • notonlythatbu russellis more defensively poor than okafor so I wouldnt mind okafor!

  • All the guys you mention are seasoned vets Okafor is a rookie. Not a good comparison

  • What choice did we have anyway? Why not just be patient. This is only year one of three.

  • because Lakers were going to suck regardless this year, and Kupchak said Okafor wasn’t going to be a Shaq, Kareem, Wilt, Mikan kind of player, if so, he would have drafted him

  • ONLY Gasol is a defensive monster right now. This is the same Bogut that Milwaukee let go because he wasn’t showing anything. This is the same Bogut that was horrible in the finals. The Spurs play team defense. Duncan is no longer a defensive monster. People are saying that looking at the past not current.

  • howould we trade of value and the kings would not want these non good playerthere notdumbman!

  • We are in ok position right now. The kids are developing well, and we have Hibbert who i can see stick with us long term for a average salary (8-10M yr).
    We will possible keep the pick and our flexibility is high

  • could always trade Clarkson, Russell, Randle if you want a quicker rebuild. But there is no superstar available in the trade market

  • this is the lakers thrreyears and it might lastmore idiot theres no garantee later fool better to do today than tommorow!

  • Okafor and Noel aren’t working either, Brett Brown is actually staggering their minutes so they play as little as possible together. They both operate in the same place, making it very easy to guard them. The same would have been true of Randle and Okafor. Randle likes to drive to the hoop, which would have been made all the more difficult with Okafor there attracting double teams, clogging the paint. Then you have Rondo and Kobe, two horrible 3 point shooters. Leaving you with a team that does not fit at all.

  • Because you miss out on opportunities when you are not in position. This summer is when the first real big men will be there. The Lakers could have been on the verge of something great heading into this summer. They delayed that with their decisions.

    They have seemingly started rebuilding twice since Phil left….and are possibly looking to do the same next year.

  • Why would Durant like to play with a guy who believes he should always have the ball in his hand?

  • They missed that window. This past summer was the opportunity to do that.

  • I don’t think they tried. What’s the point in being an 8th seed playoff team while tying up your cap space


  • What position is that though? If you look at a few franchises you see where they tried to build like we are trying and they never made it over the hump with those plans.

    The Lakers could have been further along right now. They chose not to do it, and that was a bad decision.

  • I laugh at crap like this, “However to this point Russell looks to be closer to biggest bust of the draft potential”… I wish that when the day comes Russell shuts people up like you, I could force crow down your throat. I mean it’s insane the level of disrespect that people are giving Russell without looking at any of the extraneous variables and conditions.

    Okafor is succeeding (at least on the court) because he’s the the #1 option on his horrible team. And he shoots from within 10 ft of the basket. Not to mention he was touted as the most NBA ready prospect. Porzingas.. SMH. Don’t even try to make it look like we should have taken him. The potential was always there, but everyone was already calling him a bust BEFORE the draft. He’s succeeding because he’s the #2 option on the team and has a very LARGE chip on his shoulder.

    Russell is the #4 option at best right now. And playing in a system where ISO basketball dominates and takes the ball out of his hand. I’m still not convinced him and Clarkson will work, but I won’t give up hope. His assist numbers don’t represent his worth on the court, and you’re a fool if you think otherwise. He’s making plenty of passes that aren’t being converted on, but he also doesn’t have the ball in his hand enough to warrant consistent stats.He’s our best defensive guard, and it isn’t even close. The minute Russell went out in the 4th and Clarkson guarded Wall was where he took off. You sound dumb now for insinuating otherwise.

    This is a God awful system and it’s pathetic that you try to defend it. Russell is going to shut you up so hard that you’ll regret your bust talk. SMH.

  • Yet all last season we were saying ‘Clarkson is a shooting guard’, he can’t actually facilitate or run an offense like a point guard could, he can drive and dish. But he often gets tunnel vision when he is driving. I think given time and especially given a 3 and D SF, Russell and Clarkson’s game will complement each other nicely.


  • I have never considered Russell to be a bust. Me saying he wasn’t my choice should not be taken as me saying he is a bust. He wasn’t the right choice…that simple.

  • If that’s true, why are Lakers fans mad when the Lakers lose right now?

  • what contender would give away 15mil of talent to get Hibbert?
    Hibbert will only be traded if a team wants to rebuild and get rid of bad contracts

  • i was hoping hibbert could be a solution at the 5 long term but he’s has not been very impressive he seems like a low IQ player definitely not a 10mil player but for cheap id sign for a few more seasons only because there isn’t very much to choose from.

  • He still a shot blocker who can give you valuable back up minutes. Not to mention the second year of Hibberts deal is a team option. So he wont cost his new team a lot.

  • Here’s the thing, if Russell succeeds, we all win as Lakers Fans. If he fails….we all lose.


  • They were not going to suck. Plus, they didn’t have to take Okafor. They still could have done something different than Russell.

  • Sign Batum to a four-year deal. Add Noah to the frontcourt. That would be a successful off-season.

    And if we can draft Simmons, let’s build around him! Trade one or two of our young guns away for a couple of solid players in their prime or an all-star caliber-player.

  • Fair enough, and most experts felt that Russell was the right choice. I don’t care about Okafor at this point


  • I wasn’t saying that. I saw Clarkson as the point guard for the future last season. Clarkson and Bryant would have complimented each other great this season.

  • The fact that you thought Hibbert could be the solution says you are poor judge of talent and skill.

  • Ok, but we aren’t talking about Phil or the Triangle here… We’re talking about Scott. Their is no system they are running that benefits the PG in any way. Especially since they are constantly taking the ball out of Russell’s hand. The system doesn’t fit what Russell does best. So I’m not worried about him. The potential is there, he just needs to get through the year and learn.

  • No the experts thought the Lakers were going to take Okafor. Everyone was surprise that they took Russell. Russell wasn’t even a top 10 prior to the draft. His status gain steam after the combine and workouts.

  • When did i say Lakers should trade them? My premise was based on if the team wanted a quicker rebuild compared to the wait and see approach.

    P.S. Work on your grammar skills


  • Let me clarify my point. Coming into the summer the Lakers knew that they basically had 3 starters locked down…Clarkson (PG), Bryant (SG), Randle (F). The focus for the summer should have been filling in the gaps starting with the starting lineup. Had the Lakers drafted better and worked a draft day trade, they would have shown enough to lure LMA. He wanted to be on a winner….that is the only reason he went to the Spurs. The Lakers could have built a winner this summer.

  • ok bye………………………………………i could have sworn i said “i was hoping” not “i thought”

  • So? Isn’t that the premise with all of our young players? Russell hasn’t even had close the amount of time as the other two have had. “Fans” like the bust spouters are embarrassments, because they exemplify the definition of impatience.

  • Thank you…people keep trying to change history. EVERYBODY saw Okafor was the right pick for the Lakers, but the Lakers.

  • i could have sworn LMA said he wasn’t very fond of the analytic aspect of the lakers presentation, i guess you know more than he does.

  • And that’s where you’re wrong. Clarkson is a flat out scorer. Not a PG. He can make plays like any other player, but he’s a SG.

  • That is not always the case. GSW’s best defensive lineup has Green as their center, not Bogut. The Spurs have technically had someone else playing center next to Duncan since Robinson retired, yet Duncan has been the anchor.

  • russell fan boy? sorry I’m a laker fan I’m no ones fan boy, let us know when you’re done sucking off JJ

  • “hoping”…I read that….I guess i can hope a million dollars is sitting on my car when I walk outside…

  • We have no choice but be patient anyway. Only time will tell how good the kids are. Until then, they have no market value (to be used as trade baits) and the FO does not know whom they should build around.

  • Ladies and Gentleman.. when kids with mental disabilities are given access to the Internet. Let’s give em’ a round of applause.

  • He didn’t say analytics. He said that they offered no plan and were poor in sharing the basketball side. People took from that to mean analytics. It wasn’t even that deep…the lakers offered no basketball plan period.


  • Jesus… STOP COMPARING WESTBROOK AND CLARKSON. Two completely different cases.

  • Randy really if you look at most of the expert draft boards prior to the draft. They had Towns 1 Okafor #2 Russell was 4th maybe even 5th on some of the experts lists

  • That’s just not true. Go back and look at the what the writers were saying. Stop making up stuff.


  • Less than 20 games under his belt and you know that the 19-year old kid is a bust…

  • I understand that. Spurs just had the better roster and coach to win right away.
    That doesn’t mean that drafting Okafor would made a difference though

  • Thank you. So I why is Randy trying to change history? Why can’t we just agree that the Lakers took a chance that may or may not pan out?


  • check out this comment from a lin fan, so now lin is responsible for creating steph curry

    sightless Robert W • 2 hours ago
    At least Lin can be glad that he contributed to creating a beast by being the practice guard against curry all those years…


  • Writers said Okafor becuase they thought Lakers preferred big man. However, Lakers went with the player they felt would be the better overall player


  • He needs to step it up. He didn’t crack the 4th qtr line up as he was a defensive liability. The Kid cant keep up with the speedy guard on the pro level.

  • I’m not comparing. I’m simply pointing out that Clarkson could also be a player that becomes more a point guard as he develops. Dang! Calm down.


  • The supporters of Russell will claim it is because of Byron not anything to do with Russell.


  • Before the experts knew the draft order they had Town #1 Okafor #2 Randy. LOL!

  • We could have been better enough to get a solid free agent. The Lakers presented no plan to draw the players.

  • Let’s face facts here, this is about Kevin Durant and the eventual further destruction he will cause to the Lakers this coming off season, where the Lakers will vigorously pursue him all the while keeping the 30m cap space frozen while they await his decision. Roy Hibbert presents a problem in that in order for the Lakers to pursue other free agents as well as Durant, his salary hold will have to be removed, which means relinquishing his bird rights, likely losing him. So the Lakers will likely be left with a huge chunk of cap space after Durant’s eventual no.

    Delusional people (JTaylor=B166-er) will have you believe Durant will make more money at the Lakers, when in actual fact, Durant’s best option is to actually sign a one year deal with OKC as in 2016 his max salary is 30% of 90m as a 9 year player, but as a 10 year player he is entitled to 35% of 105m. Also by signing a one year deal with OKC, he will enter free agency at the same time as Ibaka and Westbrook. That is actually Durant’s best option money wise. So if the Lakers FO had any sense they would actively look to make the overall roster better by signing good useful free agents, including their own (Clarkson) this coming off season, rather than waste it waiting for Durant’s decision and go big for 2017 when the Kids really would be reaching their full potential.

    But this is just too much common sense.

  • WHEN A MENTALLY RETARDED FOOL GETS ON a computer probably whose 29 or 34 yea rold virgin loser who cant win gets on a computr rthey have no life lol! lets givethe sissysmurf a laugh and good show ofapllause for his dumbness and loserness dudes and ladies!

  • Some boards had Okafor at #2 becuase of Lakers history of big men. Most people with analytical minds said russell is the better pick

  • You don’t think that they figured that about the Lakers based on the roster?

  • Who Randy? Who are these analytical people?

    Plus, you do realize that if you are defending the Russell pick as a great decision, you are also then giving the FO and Scott credit for making a great decision? Are you sure you want to do that?

  • This team will play a lot better after the All Star weekend and they have had time to grow and get accustomed to each other. And I suspect that as the season goes on that we’ll see less of Kobe as time passes.

    Also realize that in 12 days the unofficial trade season begins and on January 10 teams can sign 10-day contracts. We need to see how things settle before we can talk about an identity.

  • When??? That’s my whole thing, we drafted this year like we have 3-5 years or something. Why do that?

  • Again Randy Okafor was the consensuses #2 overall before anyone knew the Lakers were going to draft second.

  • A lot of people were drawn to the next Laker great big man.
    The free agent market also had more bigs.
    Doesn’t really matter. Lakers need a defensive center

  • Clarkson is a combo guard. Just because he’s competent handling the ball doesn’t mean he’s a star point. In fact, Scott has said that his organization and decision making skills aren’t quite good enough.

    But, in a 2 guard system like Scott and the front office envision, he’s a perfect Thing-2.

  • The pick cannot be judged yet. It is far too soon. Both players have their flaws. Depends on the pieces around them to determine their success

  • He’s a combo guard. In some offenses things work well with the combo guard dynamic, in others they need a skilled guy to organize and stabilize things.

  • Kobe was coming off an injury. Same with Randle. Young is a gunner off the bench. Then you had Sacre and Kelly.
    Russell an unproven rookie. Only thing Lakers had to present was their future core and cap space

  • The same could be said about this season. I’m not sure they ever start with the intention of being bad, but they are quick to assess their potential and change focus mid-season.

  • Folks said the same before the Gasol trade, the Howard Trade, the failed CP3 trade and the Nash trade.

    Mitch has built a team that has been to 3 championships, built a team with Kobe, Gasol, Howard, Nash and Artest.

    I, personally think he is way smarter than the rest and he’s doing a very shrewd and smart job.

  • So funny how it took them this long to figure that out! Their identity should of never changed and should of always been to strive for a championship or bust! It should of never ever resulted or stepped down towards make the 8 seed or win more than 20+ games. And I get it, we had some horrible luck with injuries and some bad outcomes in the past, but they need to put up or shut up this offseason.

  • your being dumband putting out dumbfalsefications get a life sissy girl randy!

  • I believe that the Lakers had options and chose not to use them. Randle was a trade piece. Russell didn’t have to be drafted. Young is actually a decent piece if you use him correctly.

    They had options…they didn’t take them.

  • Their identity was a guard and center team. If you are saying that it shouldn’t have changed…they should have taken Okafor.

  • After a half season I don’t see how that should have been the decision. Plus, this is the same Scott that is having problems with Russell, so should we really take his comments seriously?

  • dude that syuor prdictions I just want the lakers to win and not be 3-14 and not be ethis to teams

  • yep and you will still romain a russell fanboy loser when he get traded lol!

  • Here’s where you are wrong. It can and should be judged now. The league used to have players get drafted and slowly develop during their rookie contracts. However, now, rookies are expected to have instant impact especially the lottery picks. By the time we may know about Russell, it might be after his rookie contract.

  • It’s funny how people are so quick to dismiss Okafor as having been the right selection because of Randle, but fail to see that maybe Randle is the problem in that situation. How well is Randle and Hibbert working out? Perhaps Randle is not the long term solution at power forward.

    My thing is that i was looking at how the Lakers can build a contender in the NBA right now. You have to have a low post presence. The Lakers don’t have that.

  • Who do you want to trade him for, Lebron? If Russell is a bust (something I’m not willing to say yet), you trade a bust, you get a bust in return. You don’t trade a bust for something good. How did you think this works?

  • Here’s another thing…if Okafor wasn’t the answer, that still doesn’t mean that Rusell was. The Lakers could have traded down and taken Cauley Stein. He is already a defensive player similar to Joakim Noah. He could have played alongside Randle right now and the Lakers could have gotten the Kings draft pick and something else in return.

  • not only that these guys dont really study the game like the rookies of the 80s 90s early 2000s did mos tareonly in it for money thats why basketbakll is notgood today in the past rookies likekobes day and mcgradys were talented rookies more than russell and coudnt crack roattions russel lis not good if hes a starter being terrible!

  • dude I would trade russell for a mountain dew to play ball or a 4 year old thats how much a busthe is!

  • Has Pau Gasol ever been considered a great defensive center? Is he a rim protector? The Lakers won with a front court of Pau and Lamar…with Bynum getting some minutes in spots. They won 2 championships.

  • His new team wont pay the full 15 mill. It would be prorated from the time he joins his new team to the end of the season. Also the Lakers could offer to pay his full salary for this season to sweeten the deal. The second year of the contract is a team option. So it wont cost his new team too much to rent a proven shot blocker to back up the center position.

  • I’m not a dude, dude. And, oh, now I think I remember you. I think you’re the one who always spouts stupid stuff and then calls people names when they disagree. I remember now that I was ignoring you, I think. Yeah, I’m going to go back to doing that. If I have the wrong person, I’m sorry, but your post just reminded me of some idiot I went ’round with and decided wasn’t worth talking to anymore.

  • “Mitch Kupchak tells us the #Lakers have to develop an identity with their young players & veterans for free agents to look at them #Lakers”

    Trust me Mitch we all know that; the only question I have is “do you know Scott is not the coach to make the mark on that identity?”

    I think most fans here on LN is well aware.

  • Dude just stop it, Mitch had PJ as coach and adviser which makes his job a WHOLE lot easier.

    You most of all fail to recognize that.

  • Mitch wanted the Lakers to have a direction? Phil Jackson was the direction they didn’t want. If Phil was here, Kerr would likely be our coach. That’s also a direction. Got to have a pitchman for your product.

  • Russell’s value clearly has plummeted. Randle’s and Clarkson’s are a bit higher. Still no way I’d part with all 3 for Cousins just to entice Durant. Cousins with some pretty good players and still out of the playoffs. KD and DC still not a lock to go far.

  • Yo Mitch, under BS we already have an identity.. it’s just not a good one.

  • Best to make something happen (trade) once December 15th hits to help better those odds. If not then certain their intent on tanking THO next years their last.

  • It’s sad were talking about offseason this early. And Simmons is not a Lock. Even if we get lucky at both Draft and FA , I doubt they’d want to play for a no clue coach. Hence this creating identity needs fixing top to bottom , clean house next season. Jeannie its your call.

  • Rondo will not go to Lakers nor groom Russel if he gets here, because reports say he will be a max player next season. For example, if ever we get Simmons and the Lakers lucky enough to sign Durant, are you thinking that the reason FO signed Durant for him to groom Simmons?

  • I think if you have Okafor and Randle up front were a much better rebounding team. Also Okafor could have given us something that we lack. Post presence. Most of our scoring comes off of jumpers. Randle prefers to get a running start to the bucket as opposed to working in the post. We have no inside outside game. Okafor would have made us a more balanced team. I mean people can talking about his defense. But look at the Laker defense now. At least with Okafor we would have that post presence.

  • one thing to consider is durant is injury prone. he may take a max contract but not with the lakers.

  • LMFAO No…Melo was injured shorty after he signed back with the Knicks. Also both Melo and LMA are 30/31. Sign them now and all you get is a diminising Melo or LMA because you will be giving them max for up to 4 years.

    If Lakers FO and I hope smarter fans sees this, you don’t sign any superstar in their 30s, get younger guys who are 27 or 28. You sign them at their peak or when they are going into their peak, you don’t want to sign someone who will turn 34 in 2 years

  • unrestricted but true he prob hates the lakers since they picked ellington over him

  • russell

    pray to god simmons/ brown
    jeff green

    possible playoff team
    they have enough flexibility to make this happen

  • look at his play this year
    he is in for a pay day
    he does everything you can ask for in a wing player
    pass rb shoot and plays lock down d

  • Definitely not what I’m saying. Ok, you saw how last season Nash helped develop Clarkson right? I’m saying maybe Rondo can do the same. Not hair sit on the bench, but it’s great to have a vet present to show you how to set up plays and run an offense. Which is why I also said if we get Simmons I don’t want Durant tbh, and he’s not coming here no matter what.. like I said… Durant wouldn’t come here to help groom Simmons, idk where you even got that from. Russell is a rich man’s Rondo is used CORRECTLY, he can shoot way better than Rondo, like I said. So if he gets that knowledge from Rondo then all is well. And I think he’s better off the bench..

  • The DMC ship has sailed.. And idk Rondo just might leave Sac, dmc is clearly not happy with what’s goin on there so somebody is leaving at the end of the season. Bet on it

  • Lmao no way!! Those freaks are truly insane. This is definitely one of the top five dumbest comments ever from them. Surprised they aren’t still talking about the Warriors wanting Lin back. What happened to that dream?

  • I will never question his intelligence. I think we all agree there but if you look back at the decline from 2010 until now you would see why I find it unsettling.

    Did he pull off some miracles along the way? Sure, but he makes big gambles to accomplish this. You don’t always win and we have learned that haven’t we? On one hand you can win 2 titles (Gasol trade) or you can put yourself in a hole for YEARS (CP3/Howard/Nash). Not only does the team decline and lose games but you give up assets (that you NEED to get players and improve the team), you lose your reputation and you lose the allure of being “The Lakers” to bait in free agents.

    He knows how to build a team from a steady foundation but what about completely from the ground up? He doesn’t. It’s already been 4/5 years. When do they at least make the playoffs? Any team that goes from the finals to not making the playoffs a mere 3 years later has some huge problems!! But this is how we are. The Lakers will always be in love with the big name stars and gamble to acquire them. How is he going to pull a Gasol, Howard, Paul or Nash when they threw away all their assets? What’s the plan? I’m really curious as to how they will at least make this team respectable.

  • Let’s see, loses his bird rights, loses his option at a 5 year deal, loses option at sign and trade. Joins a project for one year as opposed to seeing how Ibaka, Westbrook and the team he cares most about (OKC) do for that final season.

  • indeed but I believe the bulls will secure him up and he wants to stay….maybe Pau one last ride

  • First, I wanted us to select Okafor 2) I would not mind the FO trading Russel as long as it’s for a star player or a couple of solid nba players in their prime IF we managed to sign a star in the off-season 3) I still believe Russel can be a wonderful player

  • What’s wrong with a project? If you could know you had Curry, would it be worth waiting 3 years for him to develop? Chill on Dlo. What Mitch won’t acknowledge is that the identity of this team is HIS responsibility. Shame on Mitch. I am ready for MDA’s return. Sheesh! Where is Scott’s vaunted defense? No offense works when neither forward can shoot a J to save his life. Scott needs to sit Kobe and start acting like a man. How did we ever get such a p*ssy for a coach?

  • Please fire Bryon before you talk about identity. Mitch is a funny guy, nobody will come to the Lakers when the whole organization suck! Talk about identity, where is the identity is the last 3-4 years. What a laughable joke!

  • Rather sign Mike Conley. Drummond is restricted and Detroit will match any contract, otherwise they are not wise. Whiteside is my first option, max for sure. I would also like them to trade either nick young or lou Williams, they play exactly the same way. Jeff Green and demar derozan are other guys to look at.

  • I couldn’t have said it any better. Byron is clueless, no free agent will come to LA w/ Byron still coaching. Players can see that this is a coaching problem, not saying lakers are a playoff team but they’re not this bad either

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