In our new #MailbagMonday offseason segment, some of the Outsiders answer YOUR questions about the Lakers. Send them to us on Twitter with the hashtag #MailbagMonday for a chance to be featured next week:
Ryan Kelapire: I know this sounds biased since I am a Raiders fan, but I really think the Lakers and Raiders are in similar situations right now [Editor’s Note: Oh please God no]. Obviously the Raiders have been bad for a lot longer than the Lakers have, but both are in the midst of an encouraging rebuild.
The Lakers have Clarkson, Randle, and Russell, where as the Raiders have Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, and Khalil Mack (I guess you could say that Kobe and Sebastian Janikowski are similar if only because they’ve both seemingly been around FOREVER).The selections of Cooper and Russell were also similar too. “Traditional” thought processes of drafting would’ve had the Raiders pick the defensive lineman over the wide receiver (Leonard Williams over Cooper), and also would have had the Lakers select the center over the point guard (Okafor over Russell).
Both teams decided to go against the grain, and we’re waiting to see if they made the right choice or not. I know I was happy with both the Lakers’ and Raiders’ choices.
Matt Vazin: The Cincinnati Bengals. The Lakers and Bengals have a person in charge that has constantly underachieved in the playoffs (Byron Scott/Andy Dalton), a 2nd year player that each franchise hopes turns into a superstar (Jeremy Hill/Julius Randle), and a fan group that is desperate for progress this season. For the Lakers, any sort of step in the right direction will do. For Bengals fans, winning a single playoff game is all they are asking for.
Eric Yee: The New York Giants? Both are in a division where they are stuck behind teams are better than them — Cowboys/Eagles and Warriors/Clippers — but they have a good mixture of youth and experience to make some noise. Also, I just want to believe that one of our rookies turns into Odell Beckham Jr.
Anthony Irwin: Like Ryan, I might be biased, but I see some commonalities between these Lakers and my Minnesota Vikings – beyond the team colors. While Adrian Peterson and Kobe Bryant are returning from absences for extremely different reasons, their respective franchises have definitely missed them. Beyond that, both the Vikings and Lakers have young cores who will be leaned on heavily in the coming years. Even more than that, Teddy Bridgewater and D’Angelo Russell will be quarterbacking their teams’ offenses. With the Lakers, though, I feel fairly comfortable allowing myself to be at least fairly excited without fear of impending doom as has been the case with my Vikes.
@LakersOutsiders if the "pick 5" option were still around for Season Pass, who would you pick and why? Plenty of interesting options.
— Kyle H (@kylemarx13) August 3, 2015
Ryan: Well, I would pick the Lakers by default since they are obviously my favorite team, so that is one.
My second choice would be the New Orleans Pelicans, because watching the best player in basketball never gets old (HOT TAKE ALERT).
I think my third choice would be the Timberwolves because of the ridiculous amount of young talent they have. Towns, Wiggins, Rubio, and LaVine alone are worth it. They might not win very many games, but the upside and constant development through the year will be incredible to watch.
My fourth choice would be the Golden State Warriors. I do not think there is much to explain here. They are the best team in basketball, and are so fun to watch on multiple levels. They play at a fast pace, they play both as a team and have fun individual players to watch, they are versatile on the defensive end, and Steve Kerr is my favorite person ever (Go Wildcats!). Their crowd is always into the games too, which to me, is an underrated aspect as a viewer.
And finally, my fifth choice would be the Sacramento Kings. Hey, they might be fun in George Karl’s run-and-gun system, but the main reason I want to watch them is to see the inevitable Rondo vs. Cousins altercation. Or Rondo and Cousins vs. George Karl. Either way, you know there will be some confrontations in Sacramento this year.
Matt: Clearly, the Lakers would be one of the 5 teams and they should be on everyones “pick 5” simply because of it possibly being Kobe Bryant’s last season.
My second choice would be the Cleveland Cavaliers. It should be interesting to see how the team responds after coming so close to winning the championship last season. With a year under the belt, the team chemistry should be better and this is potentially the most important season of LeBron’s career.
Third, I’d choose the Oklahoma City Thunder. In my opinion, no one is more entertaining to watch in the NBA than Russell Westbrook. Add in rookie head coach Billy Donovan and the possibility that Kevin Durant leaves if it is not a successful season, this team should be extremely fascinating to follow.
The fourth team I would choose would be the Utah Jazz. This is my sleeper pick to make the playoffs this year. I love the way they have built that team as the young talent goes well together. Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors is a solid front court that Utah needs to manage to keep for years to come.
Finally, I would pick the Philadelphia 76ers. I need to incorporate some comedy into my life and the 76ers organization would be a fantastic option to fulfill that.
Eric: Assuming the Lakers are not an option, cause you know… TWC..
Warriors because the Splash Bros could go off on any given night and it also gives me a chance to watch the Suicide Squad Kings 4 extra times this season.
Spurs because they play beautiful offense, Duncan and Ginobili are almost done, and to see how the new look Spurs mesh.
Pelicans because I want to watch a whole season of Anthony Davis and see if he lives up to the hype.
Thunder because KD is coming back with a vengeance and they are going to the WCF this year. Oh, and Russell Westbrook.
Bulls because I need an Eastern Conference team to balance out my schedule, to feel the sense of fear every time Derrick Rose steps onto the court, and to see if OG Bobby Portis pans out.
Anthony: The other guys gave good reasons so I’ll be concise. 1) Pelicans, 2) Warriors, 3) Cavs, 4) Spurs and 5) Clippers.
@LakersOutsiders The plan is Kobe & Swaggy at the 3 but that seems undersized &unreliable (given the injury hist.) Are there any options?
— INDIVUAL-1 (@McLovil) August 3, 2015
Ryan: Kobe will likely start at the three, and Young as of now, appears to be the backup. Kobe at the three is fine for me, in fact I actually prefer him there than at the 2 at this point in his career. It’s Nick Young I am not a huge fan of. If the Lakers want to add someone via free agency, Dorrell Wright would be a solid pickup. He is a solid defender and a reliable, consistent shooter.
If the Lakers are looking for an in-house option, they should turn to Anthony Brown. I’m a huge fan of Brown’s game. He was one of the best shooters in his draft class, and he has great potential on the defensive end. He can be a perfect “3-and-D” role player for the Lakers, and my hope is that they give him minutes to help his development sooner rather than later. Because Byron is not real fond of Young, I really think Brown will be the backup at one point in the season.
Matt: Anthony Brown. At some point this year, I think the Lakers need to try him at the 3 for an extended period. There should be a lot of experimenting with lineups throughout the season and this is one of them that Byron Scott should try. A lineup of Russell-Kobe-Brown-Randle-Hibbert and also the same with Clarkson at the 2 instead of Kobe at times is one that I would love to see for 10+ games this season.
Eric: Next year is another year of growth for the Lakers so giving Anthony Brown some experience wouldn’t be the worst thing for us. Who knows maybe he is the next Eddie Jones…? (Miss you EJ6) Or we could trade away our whole team to the Knicks for Carmelo and the Zinger.
Anthony: I don’t think the Lakers’ best option at small forward is on the roster currently. Sure, they could play Kobe at the three, but given the fact many Lakers fans are more open to his impending retirement than they might be willing to lead on and his injury history, we cannot legitimately expect much from the Bean. Anthony Brown showed flashes in summer league, but he’s a rookie and will hit his bumps in the road. Oh, and Nick Young is Nick effing Young.
It wouldn’t shock me at all if the Lakers either signed someone before the season starts (Dorrell Wright, anyone?) or made a trade during the season to bring on someone a little more reliable at this position. I’ll go on the record and start the Robert Sacre-for-Andrew-Wiggins rumors right here and now. YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST, FOLKS.