Hoop Questions Monday! Laker Centric Pod! (June 7th)

The LeBron slander is off the chain! Also, do your homework! LeBron is not trash and saying that Jordan didn’t lose in the 1st round …. It’s not true! Jordan did lose in the 1st round. Most folks have forgotten one of the most memorable games where Jordan dropped 63 in the Boston Garden, that performance is tied to a loss! 135-131 Boston.

Yes, it might be time for LeBron to have more help around him to win the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. It does not matter if LeBron wins another game …. He is a legend! So whether you are a MJ Guy, a Kobe Guy, a Steph Guy, a Durrant Guy, or a Harden Guy …. The slander is not necessary. Also, while we are in the moment, let’s appreciate his greatness …..

4x NBA Champion

4x NBA Finals MVP

4x NBA MVP

17x All Star

16x All NBA (13x 1st Team)

6x NBA All Defensive (5x 1st Team)

3 All Star MVP

2004 Rookie of the Year

2004 All Rookie

NBA Scoring Champ 2008

By the way, Be Careful! If you’re ready to write LeBron’s obituary, you might want to cool out on that. LeBron is going to have a full Off Season to do all his physical preparation and LeBron will push the Lakers Front Office to upgrade the roster.

Now, let’s go back to last week’s games. Are we (Lakers Nation) comfortable with AD as THE guy? This is not a hot take or trying to be like Skip Bayless going for more clicks.

Anthony Davis is extremely talented and such a difference maker and an integral part of a Championship Team. AD needs to be available for his brilliance to shine. Could AD use 10 pounds of muscle so he can take the pounding and it would provide him with a more solid base to prevent the injuries as he falls down? Of course! But I am never going to disrespect AD like Charles Barkley did calling him “Street Clothes”. That was brutal!

Whether Schroeder is particularly suited to being a starting Point Guard or more comfortable being a 6th man, I know Dennis believes he is a Starting Point Guard. I might disagree but you have to retain him for this most important reason, Schroeder’s Cap Hold Number is $24 million. Due to the Lakers being OVER the Cap, you can’t just allow Schroeder to walk in to Free Agency and hope to sign the likes of Kyle Lowry (that’s not an option).

Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma might be miscast as a Small Forward. Unless Kuz puts in work on his 3pt shooting and also his cutting & ball handling skills, he will remain an unreliable asset to the Lakers. For Kuz to find a comfortable place in the offense, those skills undeniably have to be enhanced. My suggestion to Rob Pelinka (VP Player Personnel) is to show Kuzma video of Former Sacramento King Peja Stojakovic’. While Stojakovic’ was a better ball handler than Kuzma is now, Stojakovic’s cutting and spacing of the floor (shooting) was elite and is a good template for Kuzma to follow.

The Lakers start next season $9,491,317 OVER the Cap. This is just the price of doing business in the NBA. 73.5% of the Salary Cap is eaten up by Lebron, AD and Schroeder’s Cap Hold. Lakers VP of Basketball Operations, Rob Pelinka, has stated there will be some difficult decisions that will need to be made, and Pelinka insists that it will be a collaborative effort not just with the Front Office and Coaching Staff, but also the Lakers Superstars LeBron and AD. Pelinka went on to say Anthony Davis and LeBron James are Championship Pillars of this franchise for YEARS to come. Of course they (AD and LeBron) are going to be involved in how we build our roster and obtaining the pieces we need to build it.

What does this mean? Well, let’s project what the roster will look like:

First little hint of what is going to happen … We have to look at Portland, Oregon. Damian Lillard has thoughts on what he would like to see happen after Terry Stotts and Portland MUTUALLY part ways. Dame wanted Jason Kidd as his Head Coach. It wasn’t shrouded in hyperbole. It was a direct statement: I want Jason Kidd. Portland’s franchise star was very clear. Then Kidd made the statement that he “was taking” his name out of the running! Well 1st, why would Kidd do that, since we know Jason Kidd has a burning desire to be a Head Coach in the NBA. Kidd wouldn’t have crossed Portland off the list unless he got indication that he was not Portland’s top, or near to the top, choice as their next Head Coach.

My man Chris Haynes of Yahoo reported that Damian would have significant input on the coaching hire. So far this decision is not indicative of Dame having that weight if Kidd is already out as a potential replacement for Terry Stotts.

Names on the short list for Portland:

Jeff VanGundy (TV – ESPN)

Chauncey Billups (Assistant Coach – Clippers)

Mike D’Antoni (Assistant Coach – Nets)

Juwan Howard (Head Coach – Univ. of Michigan)

Damian Lilliard has been very loyal to Portland and has been vocal against stars hopping around to create Super Teams. After a tumultuous season and losing a Head Coach (Terry Stotts) that Damian vibed with, the Town Legend’s (Oakland) loyalty will be tested this off-season. Portland fans and media members are VERY touchy about the Lakers looking at Damian Lilliard as a possible add to the Lakers that will help the Lakers create a 3 Headed Monster in the LA LA!!

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