“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” According to Einstein, the LA Lakers are insane.
No other way around it, they truly can’t stop getting in their own way. Baxter Holmes provided a lot of insight into the Lakers dysfunction in his fantastic piece, and while every detail may not be 100 % correct (each side story has two sides, and his sources were probably people ousted from the Lakers), certain things were reported by several people and fit with other stories about the Lakers.
For instance, Bobby Marks spoke on many occasions how the Nets draft room looked while he was there. The GM and assistants GM, all the scouts and cap experts get in a big room, whiteboards on all the walls around you and then the entire staff create their own 1 – 60 rankings. A lot of discussion goes into that board. Oh, they had their doctors in the room in case they need quick advice on medical history.
Not the Lakers. Magic and Pelinka were in a separate room from everyone else in last year’s Draft. So when the Lakers were up to make the 25th pick, the entire draft room expected to hear “With the 25th pick in the 2019 Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers select Omari Spellman”. He was the best player left on their board at that moment. They watched it on TV, just like you and me, when the Lakers selected Mo Wagner. The room was in shock.
Later, Pelinka told staffers he had heard negatives about Spellman and that he had discussed the issues with Lakers forward Josh Hart, who had played at Villanova before Spellman. Hart, he said, agreed there were concerns. Staffers were taken aback, and some said it represented another instance of a unilateral decision being made by Pelinka or Johnson without the involvement of key figures who would normally be central to the decision. “For him to covertly go to a player and go behind everybody’s else’s back, that’s the problem,” one coaching staff member said.
It turned out the conversation Pelinka had with Hart was under a minute, not something that makes you overturn your entire draft room. Classic Pelinka stuff, deflecting the blame/responsibility to a rookie player. Rob Pelinka, the storyteller.
Winning cures everything, so all this becomes irrelevant when you get to say, “We got LeBron and Davis on the team.” The only problem is, they managed to muck this up as well.
The plan was to add a third star and have their own Big 3, fill out the roster with minimum and exception guys and head to the Finals. The thing is, they don’t have a max slot anymore. Due to CBA rules, the Lakers are left with about $23 million. The only thing that can save them is for the Pelicans to agree to consummate the trade after July 6th – the date that was agreed upon.
You’d think that if you have a Big 3 plan, and are in the process of negotiating a trade for guy no.2, you would have your cap expert right next to you while you were on the call negotiating, doing instant CBA math and giving the “go-no go” on trade deals. You know so that you could get that third max guy after the trade.
You’d think that. It seems the Lakers are doing the same thing and expecting a different result. All the reports are hinting that their cap expert wasn’t (heavily) involved in analyzing the trade and the Lakers are now “scrambling” to salvage the situation.
A blessing in disguise is that it would be much better for them to surround LeBron and AD with starters and quality bench players than a third star. They may need to do it, not by design but by their incompetence.
Imagine dedicating your life to basketball, analyzing what kind of rotation your teammates like when you pass to them, do they like it high or low, left hip, right hip – and then working so you can deliver it exactly like that. Now apply that level of dedication to every aspect of your game.
Then you hear your GM is making up Heath Ledger stories and repeating the same mistake over and over again.
LeBron must be losing his mind.