If you’re an NBA fan and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should already know that LeBron James has officially cut the ribbon of this Free Agency season. After the magical force of LBJ’s decision–which is to go back to Cleveland, GMs have started offering deals like crazy.
The recent happenings are here but I will discuss only a few deals that are relevant to the Lakers.
Melo ditched us.
We’re getting Swaggy P back.
Jordan Hill is joining us too.
Pau Gasol left us for Chicago. 🙁
Ed Davis, Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson–in, KButter– gone
Bullet number 2 doesn’t seem enticing at all. Jeremy Lin? Post-Linsanity hasn’t been very kind to Lin. Although, his female fans (excuse me, Mr. Byron Scott, I know you’re a Lin fan too) have been very supportive, his game’s been subpar– to say the least. The basketball reality is he’s a bit of a turnover machine. To be fair though, he could be a decent backup PG. He drives a lot and shoots fair enough. But the biggest thing about this Lin deal is the future first-round pick in 2015. Steve Nash cost the Lakers their pick, so they recover that in this package deal.
The Nick Young re-signing is a win for the Lakers. Signing the lone bright spot in our disastrous season last year is probably a good thing right? He’s going to be a great backup to Kobe or a decent SF — because apparently, we don’t have someone to fill that role yet. Oh wait…
— Nick Young (@NickSwagyPYoung) July 11, 2014
Jordan Hill happened right after. Things started to unfold when Hill was offered a 2-year $18M deal. It got fans asking, “What is Mitch trying to do at this point?”
Good Boy Pau
Pau’s departure had been hanging for 2 years already via trade rumors and an actual “trade” that got vetoed. The Lakers’ front office had been playful with his emotions for the last few years, and it’s ironic that after all that’s been said and done, he has left without the Lakers getting anything in return.
Although the future is bright for me in Chicago, deciding not to return to Los Angeles was an extremely difficult decision. In my seven seasons with the Lakers, we made three trips to the NBA Finals and won two NBA Championships. I am thankful that I was able to play with one of the greatest NBA players, Kobe Bryant, alongside many other great teammates, and for one of the greatest coaches, Phil Jackson and his coaching staff. I‘m also grateful to have played for one of the best owners in all of sports – the Buss family. However, I realize that the Lakers are in a rebuilding process. I have no doubt the Lakers will be a top contender in the future. Unfortunately, the Lakers’ timetable does not align with mine. I wish the Lakers and its fans nothing but the best going forward.
-Pau Gasol (excerpt from his blog)
The “Pau Gasol to the Bulls news” was the ultimate nail to the coffin– the final sign that we are going to be in the same situation as last year’s.
Yes we are indeed going to be cruising and “tanking” this 2014-2015 season. Again.
The Plan B
Of course, Mitch Kupchak has a contingency plan in mind. He’s not a “YOLO” type of GM who uses all of his aces, all at once. He had plan B all sorted out but I didn’t know that it was going to be this:
SG: Kobe/Swaggy P
SF: Xavier Henry/Wesley Johnson
PF: Boozer/Randle/R. Kelly
C: Jordan Hill/Ed Davis/Sacre
Kobe is turning 37. Linsanity was a fad. The 7th pick won’t save us. Swaggy is still, well, swaggy. Boozer is definitely a Pau downgrade. Byron Scott might just be a Showtime #TBT “image” to make the impatient Lakers fans calm down and cling to the past. The harsh reality is this– after failing to land a superstar in Carmelo Anthony, the Lakers sure look like they’re pulling off a “go big or go home” mentality. Not that we’ve had the luxury of having so many options but, it seems that ever since the beginning, Mitch couldn’t plot a “Plan B” after all.
We only had ONE plan which is to get Melo.
All or nothing.
Big fish or bust.
Carmelo or 2015… 2016… or 2017.
Well here we are now. Welcome to your 2015 NBA Season Lakers fans.