Mailbag Monday: Lakers Roster Additions, Potential Subtractions

Watching Michael Bay obliterate a favorite cartoon of mine growing up (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) has me a little extra angsty tonight, so this should be fun. Let’s get on with the questions.

Anonymous from La Habra Heights asks: Is there any way to stop Michael Bay from making movies ever again?

Anthony: This is kinda like asking for Lin stans to miraculously develop an understanding of the minutia of basketball beyond: “Hey, Jeremy is a nice guy who likes Jesus. He should play more.”

Seriously, though. This movie is an abomination. It’s not even laugh-at bad. It’s just… Bad. Eff you, Michael Bay.

Anthony: Did you not watch/listen to our podcast with Eric Pincus last week? Wallace was one of the greatest defensive presences the NBA has ever seen. Upshaw is struggling to make a team even the most optimistic fans hope to see 35-ish wins from. You tell me.

Anthony: This is an oddly specific question. Can’t say I know anyone who fits this description.

Anthony: Given that the Lakers convinced Marcelo Huertas to leave a pretty good situation in Spain to come to the NBA, I can’t imagine he wasn’t given some kind of guarantee to make the roster. If this is indeed the case, guys like Robert Sacre, Jabari Brown or Ryan Kelly should probably start to get a little nervous. If I’m the Lakers, I want as few remnants of some of the worst years in franchise history as possible. Fringe players remaining from the roster might be on the chopping block just for the perception that the last couple years are completely behind the organization.

To answer the first part of the question, Kelly stands out as someone who’s been duplicated and hasn’t recovered from Mike D’Antoni’s departure. I’d be pretty shocked if he remained on the roster after training camp.

The second part of the question is pretty hard to gauge right now. One would think D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Kobe Bryant, Julius Randle and Roy Hibbert should get the most minutes should they stay healthy. Beyond that, Lou Williams, Brandon Bass, Huertas, Nick Young and Sacre seem to round out the rotation. Unless Byron goes full Byron (you never want to go full Byron), the doling out of minutes should be at least fairly straightforward.

Anthony: This is honestly one of the better questions we’ve ever gotten (outside of how best to prepare a potato). Each of the players listed are completely different from the other. It makes the foundation that much more interesting. Clarkson beyond a few years older than the other two would obviously stunt his ceiling slightly, but he played really well last season. Coming from nowhere as he has, combined with his athleticism and chip on the shoulder he works with makes him really intriguing for the immediate future.

Russell and Randle are different entirely, though. Think of it this way: Can you think of many other players at point guard standing 6’6″? Can you think of many other power forwards who play quite like Randle? Basically, the Lakers have two guys who could grow into playing styles the NBA currently doesn’t offer. Clarkson is interesting, but he’s not unique. Randle and Russell are unique.

Whoever between those two pans out closest to their optimal ceiling could be legitimately special. It’s why this season needs to freakin’ get here already.


Author: Anthony F. Irwin

The old guy.

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