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Well, it looks like free agency is finally starting to wind down.
Things are calming down in the n b A at this point, so that gives us time to actually reflect a little bit and figure out what the heck just happened.
Because over the last few weeks, it feels like the n b A has been turned and flipped around, and everything's crazy at this point of players are all over the place.
So we're gonna talk all about that tonight, just as always, joining me and Jess King.
And how are you doing, man? I'm good.
It's been nice to have a little bit of downtime with all the NBA's stuff calming down a little bit.
But then we're talking little bit before we came on.
NFL season is coming up soon, too soon for a sports fans.
It's nice to get a little bit of a break, but I'm looking forward to September.
I can't wait for the NBA's season to get going as well, because this year I don't have a clue who's going to win any championship.
I think it's gonna be the Lakers and the Clippers in the West.
I'm looking forward to seeing that in the East.
I'm looking forward to seeing Killian Milwaukee, but who knows? Who knows what's gonna happen come time for next? Yeah, we were chatting a little bit beforehand here, like I'm my My fantasy football league is just now starting to kind of emerge from hibernation.
So I'm scrambling right now to try to remember because I didn't pay any attention.
I was so busy with N B A stuff.
I had no idea who's going where it's, and I'm trying to learn it all real quick.
Now that we've got a little bit of NBA's downtime, but man jumping back and forth Uh, it's It's crazy, it's nuts.
I mean, it's like there's so much going on in the n b.
A world that it can be.
It really can't be all encompassing.
It's something that you have to divert all of your attention to devote all of your attention.
Joy should say so.
Yeah, I'm not looking for forward to trying to get the right fantasy football draft.
There was already a point today where I was calling a different NFL player Jalen Brown all day just because just because that's where that's where my brain is on NBS.
Oh yeah, I'm I'm gonna be that guy in the draft this year.
Well, it's been kind of funny because even with with the NBA's stuff and you had all that news coming out leading up to June 30th and then you had the signings coming up, we obviously had the A D.
Trade happened little bit before then, and it was just non stop checking your phone, checking Twitter, waiting for wounds and shams and these guys to break some news.
And now you kind of hit this this down period and I almost didn't know what to do self last week.
That's so sad my life is and how dependent it is on the NBA that I would just like man, what do I do with all this free time? But you're right.
You know when we're talking about you're looking at the MBA is a whole.
It's like you have basically from September.
October is they're getting into camp and then you go through June and then you got that first beginning of July pretty much become a nonstop league.
And so it is kind of weird to have Ally in August.
Although we should be out enjoying the weather and all that.
You're still kind.
I'm still kind of waiting like Like I can't wait to lie back down and watching bad basketball games again.
Hey, I mean, the couple few.
I'm looking forward to that.
That's gonna be coming up.
I'm excited for that.
And you know what? I keep thinking, all right? Hey, we're about done here, but the Lakers still haven't opened roster spot, right? They still have one more spot.
So there's something else is gonna happen.
They're going to use it now they might wait well in season, but at some point they're going to use that.
So we still have stuff to talk about.
We're still not done, even though here we are middle of July.
I mean, look, by the end of July, things will start really, really slowing down.
All guests are usually the quiet month for the N B A.
In the first week or two of September and then boom, we're wrapping things up again.
So look, the N B.
Incredible job of making this a year round league, although one of things I want to toss it you is.
I saw an interesting piece on the athletic today.
That was from a guy who writes about the Indiana Pacers.
And I didn't say that I should say that because I don't have his name and from me.
But he wrote all about how small markets can't be pleased with the way this offseason is gone.
And what was me? The Pacers didn't get any interviews or didn't get any meetings with any of the top gear free agents, and the MBA has this big problem on their hands with tampering.
If the big markets could just tamper with players.
I don't see any way the n b a conf.
It's a tampering problem because you can't prevent players from talking to each other.
I don't think there's a lot of tampering going on with teams like right around Red Road contract time.
That's when it's happening.
But it's being done through other parties.
That's how teams are, like signing guys.
The second free agency begins, so it's happening.
But I don't know that there's any way to really prevent it.
I mean, I don't think you can legislate out tampering in order to help the small market teams. I think of anything.
The NBA's should just go the other way and say, Screw it, tampering.
We're not gonna punish you.
Go ahead and do what you want to do as long as it's not public, because that's kind of the way things are right now.
And I can't figure out a way to stop.
And in this day and age, it was different.
Back in the eighties nineties, even in early two thousands, where cell phones weren't a common thing, you weren't connected all the time, so you know yet either send somebody a letter or make a phone call. Yeah.
Get a fax of man.
The fact that you send a telegraph gonna go ruled you can't.
There's no way to prevent that unless you're looking at it and saying, Hey, we're gonna jump in here and we're gonna make sure that we're gonna monitor cell phones and monitor your You can do that.
Just invasion of privacy.
So I think it's impossible.
I agree that there should be a limit to it during the season.
But once you get out as soon as the N b a fine, whatever the siding game is done as a midnight that night, Just open it up because it's happening.
Anyways, it's like the Kemba Walker deal in in Boston.
I mean, we knew about that before it was even legal.
So I mean, you know, you're not gonna go ahead and change it.
So I think the league should look at I know Adam Silver came out and said, he's not a fan of it, and he's not happy with the tempering.
But at the same time, it's like dude short of invading guys.
You are not gonna be able to get rid of No, no And again, you can't be.
It's not big brother.
Okay? You can't have cameras on these guys at all times.
And you know what? Look, eh? NBA players tend to one associate with other N b A players just like any other profession.
It's not any different if you're look how many times to firefighters hang out and guess what they talk about.
They talked about stuff of the job, right? It's okay.
You get a bunch of guys from a bunch of different stations.
What, are they going to sit down and talk about their, You know, well, out of my station, we've got a kitchen that could do all this stuff.
You can tickle and can cook all these things.
One of our guys there does this this and this, and we've got this kind of equipment and that kind of equipment, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
That's what n B A players do.
They get together and they say, Man, our facility is awesome.
We're doing these things Are GM was able to make this trade.
You should really consider this right.
That's human nature.
There's no way to stop player to player tampering.
It's just it's going to happen.
I think that you're better off just throwing your hands and say, Look, there's nothing we can do about it.
Players are gonna be able to pick where they want to work, just like someone else would be able to pretty much any other profession.
Yeah, you're right and that's it.
Comes with the territory.
It's like actors and actresses only date each other and they want to hang out with each other.
That's why I didn't get a shot with Eva Mendez, right? But But, you know, that's why that's why it's up because of this mugger, anything.
Wait, we're gonna go ahead and blame my lifestyle compared to hers.
But, you know, it's, you know, it's where is that piece you're talking about when you're looking at um, at the Indy fans, I think what the Rackers did this year was right.
Toronto, by technically, is a huge market.
It's 1/4 biggest market in North America.
If you look at population, it's fine.
A New York in Chicago and if you look at Toronto, it's not like it's a just a different place because it's it's Canada, Right? Things are a little bit different there and how things are the customs and one on the demographics.
But miss I, your jury did the right thing.
You said, Hey, we could have They could have kept the martyr Rosen and done their fan service and said, Well, we got them are locked up for another 45 to 3 years, Whatever it was, and we're gonna keep him in Larry around.
We're not gonna get past the conference finals, but you know that's the safe route and will be a competitive team.
No, he threw all his chips in and said, Screw it.
If I can win it once, I'm going to do it.
And I think that's what that the mindset has to be for small, small market teams like the Pacers.
They got a good roster.
They're pretty deep.
If they got to swing for the fences in order to make that one trade to try and win a championship just once, it's gotta be what it's worth it and that's where I think the mistake comes in.
You can't build for 10 years from a small market team.
You almost got a building five year anchorman, right? I think that's a good point.
You got to be ableto be willing to put your chips in and not just, hey, we have to make the playoffs every season.
Which easier said than done when your revenue is is a lot smaller.
Right? The Pacers revenue stream some of these small market teams.
That river revenue stream is smaller, so making the playoffs is much more important to them than a team like the Lakers, who are making hundreds of millions of dollars.
And they are making tens of millions of dollars.
It's a lot different there, but still, their overall point was, Look, the Pacers have basically done good things, right? I mean, signing Malcolm Brogden and it moves like that.
Bring in Victrola Depot and all the things that they've done.
They run their franchise fairly well and look at the Lakers.
They've been a disaster.
They suck, and yet they wound up with LeBron James and Anthony Davis anyway, that I don't know like there's no geography matters like I mean, playing in Angeles is different.
I don't think there's any way people cry for parody and everything like that.
But I wonder, even if they had it, which I think this season is gonna be closer to having, like, almost NFL style parody than ever before.
But if you have it, is that really a good thing that you don't have any really, really good teams? You just have a bunch of okay teams? I don't know. That's better.
A has always been a star driven league, and you look at back in the early eighties when it was able to finally gain a foothold in the U. S.
It was because they had Larry Bird and Magic Johnson and they were the faces of the league.
And that's what brought people in is because Larry Bird was this token white guy French Lick Indiana, who could ball ball out all day.
And he had Magic Johnson, the charismatic guy with a smile that lights up a room.
We're not gonna talk about him as an executive.
I'm just referring to him as a player.
Just just a big story.
People know that, but if you look at look at that, the N v.
A has always been a start.
Urban League and If you're a star, you want to be in a big market.
You look at a D.
He's already getting commercials now, and he's getting these deals that he wouldn't have gotten if you were still in New Orleans.
And he's here in a big market.
The Lakers are the franchise of the NBA's.
So naturally, that's where you want to be If you're working for a corporation in your station, you know, in a smaller city.
But you get to the head office in New York or L.
A or Chicago, you're gonna make a move and go.
I mean, look, if you can get to a big market, especially knowing, like like like Anthony Davis is gonna be in Space Jam now like that, that kind of stuff matters, by the way, I'm sending this out on on Facebook right now.
And so it does, like a, uh, sportscaster puts up just a little image of what our show looks like.
And just that it caught you like mid sentence and it's the picture of you was just brilliant.
It looks like you're singing it.
I'm gonna going on.
Don't last that on Facebook right now.
and we'll get battle.
I'll take it right.
Nothing could buy.
Actually, you can't hide in the mud.
You know what I mean? Let's get plastic surgery, which I'm in the right place for it.
I can't do anything about this, so it is what it is.
Let's talk Lakers, Right? Let's let's talk about the Lakers a little bit.
So I am still of the belief that they need another small forward looking at the rotation.
Look, Anthony Davis has said recently that he wants to play the four.
In fact, he said it multiple times.
And if you do that, I think that means Koosman sliding the bench and he becomes kind of the de facto back up three and four in order, get another minutes.
But I still think they need a true I don't see.
Koosman is a true three.
I seem was more of a four than anything else, so I think they need a backup three at Scottie Asked.
If we can't get Iggy, what do you think is another option we might have? Is there anybody else out there that you thinking? At least defend wing players that you think is interesting.
I think at this point that what's out there, there isn't much in terms of signing guys.
And Gigi, you know, apparently the Grizzlies want a first round pick, which the Lakers don't have many of.
So you're not going.
You're not going to get him through that if that's what they stick to.
I think what the Lakers have to do at this point is rule with roster that they have.
I agree with you.
I think Who's MMA? 10 years ago was a traditional three in today's game.
He's more of a stretch for right, right? And so what they have to do is what Once you get into the bio period and you start seeing, you know, the teams that are really at the bottom of the league, like the Cleveland like the Knicks, if they're trying to maybe ship off someone or a team's out of it by December, then you might have to get somebody on the cheap.
So I think the roster is pretty much all set as is right now.
I do think they have the luxury of having a guy like Danny Green having a guy like Jared, you don't want again.
Don't wanna play in 25 minutes and you can rotate in and and Avery Bradley.
And even if you want, you could put LeBron at the three.
Maybe not defensively, but on the offensive kind of way.
It doesn't really matter.
So I think it's position list basketball.
I don't think they're too bad of a spot, but they also don't have the assets to get to get anybody.
What about you? They've traded away everything else.
Like my aforementioned fantasy football team.
I've traded away all my future assets in order to try to win right now.
So, yeah, look, they don't have the pieces to make a trade.
But I can also say, um, they I tend to look at this as not just offense.
I really don't even look at it as offense.
I don't care what position they play on the offensive end so much I care about who they defend.
And so I think LeBron is going to do forward.
Think he's gonna have to go.
But I want somebody that they can.
They can send that Kawai.
George. I know clippers.
But, uh, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Durant when he's eventually healthy players like that.
I want somebody that they can go after those guys.
And if under, you know, is not out there we're talking about like Iman Shumpert, right? I mean, I mean, players like that.
I don't think you're gonna find a whole lot.
You mentioned Jared Dudley.
I think they're better off making Avery.
Bradley was actually six, too, but he's got a long wingspan, tried to defend threes, then have somebody else do it.
Maybe you asked any Green to do it a little bit, but I guess bottom line, most likely the Lakers were gonna be asking someone to play out of position in order to defend Freeze.
And that's either either Kuzma or Dudley who I believe, the power forward of this 0.
2 or Avery Bradley or Danny Green asking them to slide.
They they don't have that piece, and I hope that doesn't wind up becoming their Achilles heel.
Yeah, defensively, they are gonna have some issues.
But, you know, I think Frank Vogel has shown that he's pretty good when it comes up with coming with the scheme and how to run things, so it'll depend on that.
I also think this year they're they're RIM protection.
Although JAVALE was what's pretty serviceable for the most part when he was healthy, I think having Anthony Davis there is gonna make a massive difference.
You can alter shots.
He's a he's a He's a big, athletic dude who guys, you have to think twice before coming to Lane and trying to shoot over him.
So I think a lot of that's going to depend on how Frank Vogel and his staff can get a little bit more creative in terms of using the guys in the right way.
Because you look at LeBron and it's like Okay, yeah, you haven't really tried 34 years and we and we get it.
But if need be when you're playing against the quiet, when you're like let's see what he has and try and see if he still has that that extra level that we saw in Miami, a whole bunch where you can turn it on defensively.
You don't want to rely on doing that every night with 35 but that gives you a role and maybe bring somebody new wink.
Yeah, yeah, maybe they could figure out a way to land somebody.
It'll be it'll be tough, but I I still think that is the one piece that's that's missing right now.
Is that wing defender at Aaron said, What are your top eight teams in the West right now? In order in order like the dust, the dust hasn't even settled yet.
All right, Are we talking? Are we talking? Are we talking regular season standings like that's it? Well, let's go regular season.
What do we think the order is gonna be at the end of the regular season? Which is is a fool's task like there's no way that we're gonna nail.
That's exactly right.
Then I should have gambled Mawr in Vegas.
But, yeah, let's let's try.
So who's who's gonna be number one? And I'm gonna pull up a list because I know I'm gonna forget somebody.
Yeah, let me pull up a list of Western Conference teams to make sure I don't accidentally leave somebody else.
But who do you think is finishing number one in the Western? Come, I'm gonna stay with their home court advantage and just with their depth overall throughout the regular season, and they're young and they seem like they're gonna try a lady to games.
I'll go with that.
That was gonna be my pick.
I've got I've got Denver Nuggets because, like you said, home court advantage is nice in Denver, up in the way, way, way up there, right the mile high city, right? So they they've got advantage there.
They also tend to be a stopover city, so they usually wind up being the second item back two bags.
Remember, we said geography matters here.
It matters in every way.
They usually wind up having the advantage of being the team that gets to face opponents on the second night of back to backs quite a bit.
So I think they're scheduled.
Winds up being a little bit easier.
So I'm also gonna say the Denver Nuggets continuity matters.
They basically brought back their entire team.
So they're gonna be able to hit the ground running where its mother teams, like even the Lakers were gonna have to figure out how to play with Anthony Davis.
Now, team's gonna be sorting things out s so I'm gonna go with them to born, uh and number two.
I guess I'll throw this team out there.
Number two, I'm gonna say the Utah Jazz I love the movies that they made.
I love William Bogdanovich and he's gonna be a great fit.
I love Mike Conley coming in there for them.
I'm gonna say that Utah winds up being the second seed.
You know what? We're gonna but losers And this is not entertaining, but I'm gonna take Utah as well.
That is for the same.
They're very D team.
They want 50 games last year.
You're adding a couple of big pieces and Conley and but Bogdanovich, it'll add to their depth.
I do think and again, this is just strictly regular season.
What I think's gonna happen.
I agree with you.
I think Denver in Utah, the top two so far. Now it's gonna get interesting.
All right? It's a number Number three.
I'm gonna go with the Lakers number three.
I think that that assuming that everybody stays healthy, they should be a very, very good team this year.
I think that Kyle Kuzma is going to take a step.
And DeMarcus cousins, given what he looked like the other day when pictures were taken of him.
Oh, it looks like 2025 pounds thinner.
I think we're gonna get a really, really good to Marcus cousins.
At least I'm hoping so.
I'm gonna say the Lakers my number three I'm gonna take I'll take the Clippers at three.
And again, I'm saying it for the fact that I think the Lakers Not that I think they will start off a little bit slow.
And you've seen that a lot with LeBron's teams as they.
You know, with this much roster turnover, it's gonna take him 10 games.
You know, I think will be four and 65 and five around there for the first time.
But ultimately, I'm gonna take the Clippers there because they're younger.
They're gonna play there guys a lot more than the Lakers and your other than Kawai.
I don't think any of those guys are gonna have both management.
You might see that with LeBron and 80.
So I'll take the Clippers at three at three.
Who are you going with it for then? I'm going, Lakers.
Okay, so you got me.
But you've got Lakers before.
I'm going to say I'm gonna go Houston Rockets at four.
And I know that where they finished it finished this last year.
And the only reason why I'm not going clippers there is because Paul George had double shoulder surgery and he's not gonna be a better way to start the season.
So I'm wondering if they start off in a little bit of a slump and then they're trying to figure things out with Paul.
Maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part, but I'm gonna go the Houston Rockets, they bring in Westbrook.
They've got They still have James Harden.
Yes, I think eventually it's gonna blow up.
But I think that they start strong.
They were able to, I think, fortunately for them, they tried to trade them, but they kept Clint Capela.
They kept P. J. Tucker.
They kept Eric Jordan.
I think this is gonna be real good. Teams at the four.
I'm gonna go Houston at the five.
I'm gonna go. I'm gonna go clippers.
I think it's because we're going to see a lot of load management from Kawai and they're gonna have to do the same with Paul George.
Isaac's coming back from shoulder surgery.
You know he's not shooting right.
Paul George had a great season last year.
I think we're going to see a little bit of regression because he's not going to work this summer.
He's not working on a shot or anything.
It's gonna take him some time to get up to speed.
So I'm going with the Clippers. Five.
How about you, Houston at five? I think so, too.
And it's funny because when we did our show last week, we were talking about some of these teams, and this was before the Westbrook hardened thing.
We didn't even talk about Houston at one point.
We're talking about the best teams in the West.
I think we just both they slipped our mind.
So I agree with you.
I think Houston will be dangerous.
I don't I think out of those top five teams that we've mentioned, I don't think all five of them are championship contenders.
I think it will come down to the Lakers and Clippers, but I'll take I'll thank you to Houston that five in the car, okay at six and I think that they're going to be a much bigger threat in the playoffs, and I think that a lot of people are giving them credit for right now.
But I'm going warriors and again.
The reason why I think six they're going to be a big threat is because by the time they get the playoffs, Clay Thompson will be back.
I think the actor Russell is gonna help them kind of stay afloat while you're waiting for him to come back.
And then once you have Clay back, you've got a really, really strong team.
Me, You can run and play the three.
You've got a least a four man team of Steph Curry.
You've got, of course, Clay Thompson coming back and then dreamin and then maybe thrown throwing Kevon Looney or somebody like that and uh oh, yeah, that's that's why I'm going with it at six.
And I think they're going to be just as dangerous as anybody out there in the world.
I'm gonna I'm gonna go with the Portland Trail Blazers at six, I think if Newark itches back healthy, they want 53 games last year with the squad that they have and the West not as front loaded as it was this year, but pretty damn competitive.
You saw them get to the conference finals.
Portland at the six spot.
Fair enough? Yeah, definitely a valid team to put in there and four here at the six. But I mean, Portland.
Look, they benefit.
I talked about continuity before, when we talked about the number nuggets.
They benefited from that, perhaps more than anybody else last season, because we did pretty much bring back the same team.
They were having to really hit the ground running last season.
And they to an extent, they are mean.
Hassan Whiteside's coming in there to help them out who I still like, but maybe they'll be a little bit of, ah, of a learning curve there.
But yeah, I do like like Portland there.
In fact, they would be my next pick.
So it's seven. I would be.
I would have the Portland Trail Blazers because and look, it even feels low to put them there.
I just put them ahead of the Warriors, but still, I mean, Portland is it is a damn good team.
You've got CJ McCollum.
You've got, of course, Dame Lillard and some really good pieces around them.
They did. They did lose Mo Harkless.
They did lose Al Farouq Aminu.
So that's gonna be an issue.
But you know what? I still think they're a good team, and they're going to be Ah, really? Oh, yeah.
And this is like, this is crazy to me because I'm gonna take the Warriors at seven.
And that's where I think either Denver, Utah is gonna lose.
I took you talk with that for the sake of this, but I think Golden State's gonna be a seven or eight seed and whatever one of those top teams plays them in, around one is gonna be up.
I agree. That could definitely happen.
All right, So I had that I had What? The blazers at seven.
Right, You put who'd you put it? Seven. The Warriors.
This is where it gets the eighth pick now, because now you've got your your list of teams here that you could choose from, So I'm interested to see who would you pick their from? Great.
So I think the thunder are going to unless they convinced the thunder could still make the eighth seed, and everybody's kind of writing them off.
But if Chris Paul decides, you know what, forget it.
No team's gonna be able to trade for me.
We still have some decent pieces here with Okay, See, you have Chris.
Paul, you still have have some depth on the wing.
You get Andre Robertson back, you've got you Danilo Gallinari, who's pretty solid in the wing to You've got Steven Adams.
You've got some good pieces.
I could see them sneaking in, but I think it makes more sense for them to blow it up.
So I think at some point they're going to start shipping pieces out.
And I don't know that Chris Paul is going to stay.
So my eight seed, I'm going back and forth between two teams right now, and I'm probably wrong.
Somebody else is gonna sneak in right now.
My gut, it seems that I'm looking at are the Mavs and the pelicans.
And I think I'm gonna go pelicans rush.
I think I'm gonna do it.
I think I'm going to go pelicans for the eight seed just because look, I think they're gonna run like crazy.
I think they're gonna catch some teens on some some tired nights.
They've got a ton of athletes.
We just watched Jackson Hayes fly up and down the floor.
Summer league. He's gonna be a nice fit.
Derrick Favors is a great veteran presence. J.
Reddick Drew Holiday.
They've got the veteran players to keep from steady, and they also have the young legs, man.
Uh, and again, it could just be biased because I've been watching years of a couple of years now of Love's a ball on Brandon Ingram and Josh Heart, and I want to see them do well.
But, yeah, I'm gonna go pelicans with the sea.
See, I'm one thing I'm happy about.
Jury something used to into Brandon Ingram, saying He's pretty close to coming back.
So that's that's great news.
I wish you'd just come back and play just as good as he was before he and getting down with the illness.
You know, it's funny.
I looked at this, too.
I thought of what the pelicans Sacramento Kings look pretty good last year.
They're poised to make a run for the eight spot they didn't get in.
Minnesota is gonna be one of those hit or Miss James.
And this this is one squad we haven't even talked about.
The San Antonio Spurs.
They're there every year.
I Well, I'm not gonna go again.
80? Fair enough there.
They were saying I was considering because I'm like, Okay, Aldridge is going to be a year older.
DeRozan was kind of missed last season, and I'm writing them up, and I'm probably gonna look stupid for doing it because everyone who has written them off for the last 20 years has been wrong.
So probably be wrong there.
What? What? What is that? There are 22 22 years or something like that, I think.
Consecutive making the playoffs.
I don't think that to me.
And the conversation we just had is crazy, because if you think about it, I would say maybe at the eight seed and lower.
I don't think those teams have a shot, but I do think teams like the Lakers and Clippers and probably the wears if they're fully healthier at the top of the conference.
But is it really that much of a drop off between four and seven? I don't think so.
You know, that's the crazy part.
to me for once in the end, Okay.
We don't know who's coming.
You know, what are the top five teams in the league, right? Exactly.
And you look at what I mean.
I don't think the Spurs unnecessarily gonna get a lot worse than last year.
Maybe a little bit if there's a little bit of regression from Aldridge and players, you know, a few other the veteran players.
But, I mean, Lonnie Walker look good.
John Murray is gonna be coming yet.
They've got some pieces that are returning here.
Um, and I'm starting a second.
Yeah, his second guess.
But, I mean, look, the bottom line is somebody multiple good teams in the West, like the kings.
The wolves are decent, right? The pelicans, the mavericks, like multiple teams, are going to not make the playoffs.
That should be in there.
We say it every year, but the Western Conference is gonna be absolutely insane.
So let's move on to some other questions now that we So he went through our top eight and realize just how nuts the West is.
Do the Lakers have a draft pick in the draft next year.
From that, yes, they do.
They manage to hang on to that pick if you go to real GM.
Actually, they have a really nice list of future picks owed and being received.
The Lakers have no future picks coming in.
They have their for their next three second run picks are gone or traded.
Um, their first rounder in 2021 is.
I want to say it's top eight protected but reverse protected, so the Lakers only get it if it's not in the top eight.
If it is in the top eight, that the pelicans get it than their 2022 pick goes to New Orleans.
There, 2023 pick is a pick swap with New Orleans, 2024 goes to New Orleans.
But if it's not a good pick, the Pelicans and I don't know what the date is When they have to say what they want, the pelicans can push that to 2025 if they'd rather.
So that, in a nutshell, is what the Lakers have.
Not a lot of picks, but, yes, that you have their pick in 22.
Um, let's see, a few people have said that.
Put these words together.
You're not gonna be happy here.
Just a few people have suggested.
Carmelo Anthony, this is forward coming in.
Oh, Sailed a long, long, long time ago.
Let him go off into the sunset.
If you heard a guy, You're upset too, I think, Carmelo, where? He was referring to the fact that Carmelo Anthony it was more important to him to score 30 than it was to get the w n ity seems like.
And this is Chauncey Billups talking that Carmela, Is that a hard time adjusting to being a bench player? We've seen that in Houston.
We saw that in O K.
C. They didn't want him in Atlanta.
It's time to just cut the court on that.
I do not agree with that.
What about? No, I don't think he's the piece you need.
I'd rather go find a young guy and let him let him run up and down the floor.
I don't think Melo is gonna give you anything that you don't already have out there.
With Jared Dudley.
Let's see at at air instead of DeMarcus cousins does well this year.
Do we re sign him long term.
Well, first of all, I guess before we even get into the cap stuff Jazz, Do you think that that cousins is going to be a good fit this season? Absolutely.
I I love that signing from the start, I was saying it on Twitter.
When we found out the Lakers weren't gonna get Kawai, I said to go out there and get boogie right away simply for the fact that he's giving you an option that you haven't had in a long time.
Really? Since Dwight Howard was here, right? That you have a guy who's gonna be able to be a traditional five.
You know he's gonna play next.
The Anthony Davis.
We saw how good they matched up in the chemistry they had in New Orleans before he tore his Achilles.
And you're getting about one year and three and 1/2 and you mentioned he looks like he's 19 year old boogie cousins again.
I mean, it's like them.
How do you lose that much weight in the off season and look like a bit chubby that you were coming back in the in the regular season? with the water.
So you know, to me, I'm excited for this.
I think his fit next to those next LeBron and 80 is perfect.
Because if you could give you and we talked about this, if he gives you 18 intent, you know, 16 and 9 16 and 10 whatever it is around there, it's a huge win for the Lakers.
Yeah, 100% of look.
Anthony Davis was on ESPN, 7 10 l a. Today.
And he actually said that the Lakers gave him Ah, a whole lot of leeway in terms of deciding who the team was gonna go after which I mean, they should they will bring.
They wonder they want 82 Reese on next summer.
So they said, Look who? Who should we go after in free agency? And so he had an opportunity to not just suggest names but also helped recruit.
And DeMarcus, cousins of one of the guys that he recruited, said, Look, we made it.
We had a great partnership before.
Let's roll it back. Let's do it again.
And so you look at it.
If Davis is set up playing the four, which, based on everything he said he is, uh, hand.
That is a fearsome front line.
If DeMarcus cousins can't get anywhere near where he used to be, and I'll say this one thing that bodes well for the Lakers is that Achilles injuries.
That first season back is really tough, but it tends to get a little better the second season back.
So they've got cousins on the cheap.
If he can be a real threat for them.
If you could be a real peace man.
Anthony Davidson, DeMarcus cousins with JaVale McGee thrown in there, plus some LeBron James and some Kyle Kuzma like the Lakers front line is ridiculous, right? It could. Oh, yes.
Uh, but let's start capital quick, because this is where we're gonna get a little bit negative.
So do they sign him? Long term.
The problem is, they might not be able.
So win cousin signed a one year deal with the Warriors last year.
Nobody freaked out.
It was like six point 5,000,000 or whatever.
Everybody thought that it ruined the competitive balance of the league and all that stuff.
Um, the problem was it was a one year deal, basically great.
There was no way the Warriors could afford to keep him because they would be in the luxury tax tax and all these things.
Well, now the Lakers are kind of in that position.
So cousins and making three point 5,000,000 this year he's only under one year deal.
Which means they won't have his bird rights like Kyle Kuzma if he plays really well.
And he suddenly he suddenly a Max player doesn't matter.
They've got his bird rights.
They can exceed the calf to keep him DeMarcus cousins, because he's on a one year contract.
They can't do that.
If he was on a two year contract, they would have his early bird rights and they could give him about 125% raise and pay him over the cap.
You could still do that.
Probably wouldn't be enough to keep him.
But any event, they don't even have that.
Okay, Three years and you can pay whatever you want.
They won't have that opportunity.
Okay? They're going to be over the cap, which means the only way that they can re sign the markets.
Cousins, if he really blows up the way that we think that he could and the way I think he will.
If he returns anywhere close to his former self, the only thing that they'll be able to do is give him the mid level exception, and that mid level exception next season will be about nine point 8,000,000.
And on a four year deal, it would come out to about 42,000,000 and change.
They could give him a four year, four year, 42,000,000 and change if they gave him everything they've got with that middle of mid level exception.
And given next year's free agent market, I could see a scenario where cousins commands a lot more than that, and the Lakers would have no avenue to get anywhere close to it.
So I don't be too negative.
But if Cousins has a really good season, there's a decent chance that he just doesn't want it done with the Lakers because they're not gonna build Pam.
Yeah, that's what I think that was his intention.
Coming into into this year with with the Warriors was partly one good big season and get paid, and it didn't happen and we look at Boogie going into that off season where before he got hurt with the pelicans, that was his goal was to go out there and get the big contract.
The Sacramento Kings were prepared to give him that.
And you look at it from that from individual standpoint, Yeah, if I If I was boogie Cousins and I had a really good year, I'd probably want to make my money to and get $100,000,000 contract from wherever I can.
It's gonna be tough.
But if there's a way to keep him, you just tell LeBron James, say, do you're making, like, 30 some $1,000,000 here? Just give him five more, but keep him around.
But, uh, you know that just slide into one of the table. It'll be fine.
Well, just make sure Adam Silver Lakers can't stop the tempering said that you could just bend before the money.
We're good, right? Give me a role in Space jam, right? Come on.
10 seconds and you'll get an extra 10,000,000.
All right, how about that? You'll get the royalties coming in the be good, but they've got to find a way.
If he does play well, offer him the deal.
I would like to see him just bounce back and do good.
Because I think Boogie Boogie Cousins at is best is an awesome eh NBA player. He's fun to watch.
But I do think if he ends up being the guy that we're hoping and we think you will be at, you know, making putting up a double double double numbers every night, probably gonna want to get paid.
So it would be tough to keep him in that case.
I mean, I guess the one thing on the Lakers side here with cousins is that we've seen in this MBA off season and most recent ones in the years past.
Um, look, Biggs don't get paid centers.
True centers don't get paid me.
Look, javale McGee got 4,000,000 kcp got all right.
I mean, nobody would argue that javale McGee wasn't Maur impactful than K c p last season.
Just Biggs don't have the same market.
Nikola Bozovic got a pretty sizable deal about the same age as cousin.
So if he comes back and does something like that, Isa recalled, this bitch got about one t low 20,000,000 per year on a four year.
Well, so yeah, there are some deals out there that they're they're still gonna be bigger.
But maybe the market works in the Lakers advantage.
You bots got 7,000,000 year for four years, so we'll see.
But right now, look, if they if he does well, it'll be tough for them to keep in mind.
That's Ah, that's where we can settle on at l.
A peach basket basket said the eighth pick pick is a pick.
Um, dark horse candidate is the pelicans, but I like the King's yet.
Look, the King's heir.
Good. They re signed Harrison Barnes.
They're growing their young look.
That's another one.
That you can't count them out either.
And they were. They were right there all throat last season.
And it was kind of like how are they gonna pull this off and get theeighty? Obviously the Clippers beat him out in the end, But, I mean, I didn't like that Trevor Rees the deal.
That was just ridiculous.
And so, you know, signing him to a two year deal at 21 is a 25 25.
But it's not as bad as we thought at first.
That's why I came back.
He's got, he's got out.
Basically, I think the second year only has about $1,000,000 or so.
I've taught my hand.
I could be a little off on that.
But second year, it only has a small number of guarantee.
So it's more like it's more like a one year, 13,000,000 deal, then really, a two year 25.
So I was even at that.
I think that's a lot to give to give a reason.
But it's It's certainly a lot more defensible than the straight two years.
25,000,000 that was first reported.
Yeah, I didn't either way.
I I don't know what the commenter said there.
I agree with union.
You mentioned Emma's Well, I think the pelicans are gonna be so fun to watch.
And if Lonzo and Brandon Ingram kind of make that leap and take the next step, what we've been waiting for, we're waiting for here in L. A.
If they do that man, the pelicans are yet there's a good chance it could.
It could be that 82 which would be fun is held to see him in the first round against a team like Denver running up and down the court would be the scores would be 180 to 170.
But if it be a lot of fun to watch, I'll tell you what jazz I mean, looking at the Western Conference and the East to the East has some fun teams as well.
But the West has so many fun teams.
So I literally so, like I get leaked passed every year, of course.
And so I watch all these different games.
The pelicans, they're gonna be must watch TV.
I'm definitely going to go into their games.
And I'm like, I'm excited to see Lonzo, FBI and heart.
I know pelicans fans like hate the Lakers right now and heat Anthony Davis and they want to see Oh, they want to see him just crash and burn right so badly.
I don't feel that way about about the pelicans addle.
I want to see the pelicans do Well, I'm excited to watch them, but so, you know, like Amazon Prime Day is going on right now.
You know that. So I ordered.
I just splurged and ordered a couple of new TVs, one for my office here, one for one for a bedroom.
And I'm trying to talk my wife into not getting rid of our old TV's.
Let me create, like a command center here in my office, where I have multiple TV set up.
It's not going well so far, but if I can get that done, I could have a pelican's game going on.
I could have I got the Lakers game in the middle, like have the king's flying up and down the court.
I would be so excited.
So fingers crossed guys out there.
Hopefully I can figure out some way to create a system here in my office.
We talked about this right over at the beginning of the show today we said, Hey, you know what? It's the downtime with the MP offseason.
Smart thing to do to take your wife in a nice week long vacation in August, Something romantic.
Let her get away.
Soon as you get back are the last day there.
Is it okay to do it? You're gonna butter up enough the whole time.
You're gonna get away with it.
But if you do it come time for October where she knows your intention, toe.
Then you're gonna be in trouble.
So do it early and you'll be all right.
I'm already I'm already working on it.
Gosh, I'm so tired.
I said, It's okay, I'll I'll put it down on the bed.
Title reader stories.
Yeah, I'm working on the smart men.
Keep working to get that.
Get that man cave set up the way it should be.
Yeah, I'll get it there.
A peach basket said, I think the three biggest risks for the Lakers going in 2019 2020 in no particular order are one shooter's not shooting.
Um, unlikely, but a risk.
I'm sure that could happen.
Look, I mean, cop who shot 36% from three his rookie season.
Nobody would have expected that he would drop the 30% last season that happened.
Ingram didn't shoot well from three to start the season.
Those things can can derail you to team chemistry, not jelling and three defense.
Let me get your thoughts on that list.
So team chemistry or not jelling.
Are you worried about that at all? Just No, I think I said that earlier, too.
It'll be about 10 games, 12 games.
We'll figure it out. Okay.
We talk about the high end talent that they have.
You have LeBron James.
You have Anthony Davis.
You have boogie cousins who knows the game very well.
The rest of the guys will adjust to learn how to play with those guys.
I think I like you wise.
They're a lot better this year than they were last year.
What about you? Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
Look, Lance Stephenson was a ton of fun with the air guitar and all that kind of stuff, but you wouldn't call him a high I Q player, right? No.
So the I think this is gonna be a smarter basketball team.
I think that I think they're gonna figure it out right.
It's going to take time, but I think that the intelligence, the basketball intelligence is here to where they will figure out a way to make it work.
But the defense, uh, look, I know from what Rob Klink has said recently that looking at the guards With the exception of Quinn Cook, they really went towards things with an eye for defense.
That's why you see Avery Bradley, Danny Green, Alex Caruso.
Those are guys that are on the team right now.
But with even with that being, said DeMarcus, cousins can get exposed in space.
We know his lateral quickness isn't great.
Since the Achilles surgery.
LeBron James doesn't play a whole lot of defense that anymore.
We saw that last year.
Cozma's forte hasn't been defense is that he was better than I expected when I started digging into his numbers for a piece that I'm writing, Hey was in the 60th percentile defensively, which is okay.
But overall, yeah, there are some weak links here, so I suppose the defense could be an issue.
But I think the Lakers have taken active steps to try to mitigate that as much as possible.
Yeah, they'll be okay.
You know, you mentioned now that Alex Caruso, you look at his defensive abilities last year, he was great.
He didn't think the defensive reading with him on the court was it was 99 or 100 something, something close to that on it.
was It was 10 10 points.
Basically better than Rondo.
So much better than that.
That's the Yeah, you know, he does it.
And I think for that I mean, you don't have Alex Russo guarding a Paul George, but you can have been guarding a, you know, a good point guard on the other team, and you will be able to keep up with them.
So again, I think scheme is gonna be a big thing.
What they choose to do, they're going to go over the screens under the screen, switch everything.
How they're gonna be position in terms of rotations.
I think all of that stuff.
And as we mentioned it when the first question was asked, is It's a smarter basketball team, so they'll know they'll figure things out.
How how the each guy plays and who goes where.
So I think that might be something to worry about is you get later.
But overall, I think that seems to be okay.
And one other thing that will throw it is you look at the Lakers coaching staff right now.
You look at who they've got right.
They have defense first, coaches and when we're talking about a guy like like Lionel Hollins Lords.
Frank, of course. Thes air.
I'm sorry, Frank Vogel.
I mean, uh, these were guys who who preach defense.
So if anybody's gonna be able to get this team to play good defense, it's them.
So it's not as big of a concern as maybe it would be otherwise, but yeah, that's where I met.
The next one said at Aaron, assuming we re signed Davis, how much money we have in the off season next year? Uh, none in terms of Candies.
Then there'll be nothing because Davis his capital is gonna be on the books.
LeBron's gonna be making close to 40 if not 40 right on next season.
And then you've got, of course, Dana Greene on another scene season 15,000,000.
You've got players options for KCP at 8,000,000.
You've got javale it 4,000,000 on a player option you've got which they may pick those up.
They may not, uh, every Bradley may have a player option.
I gotta look that one up on somebody else had won over.
Rondo has a player option as well.
I think I think it was it.
I think it was a team option on badly, wasn't it? I'll, uh, our good buddy, Eric Pink.
It's always has this this kind of stuff.
Well, he's great years.
Yeah, Well, yeah.
And continuing with the, uh, the question Was the 2023 agency classes not great.
You got Draymond Green, Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan.
Only guys who have played in all Star games.
I believe those are the only three available, So you're not missing out on too much.
But of course, depth.
Always an issue in the n b A.
And now you know, today's age was trying to get Make sure you have enough guys so they might be able to move things around and bring in a depth piece.
But there's no big fish available next time already, right? Yeah.
So it's not a he huge deal.
Looks like Avery Bradley straight up.
There's no okay.
Based on what I'm seeing here from pink asses work on basketball insiders.
It doesn't look like there's an option.
Either way, Quinn Cook has some portion of his second year nonguaranteed and that he's ordered 3,000,000.
I can't imagine that doesn't get guaranteed, though, Uh, anyway, so that's Ah, that's where all those are at.
Um, look, even if a lot of guys declined their player options, it still doesn't matter.
They're not gonna have money to spend.
The only thing they're gonna have is that that mid level exception which is going to be right about nine point 8,000,000 next season, based on a projected salary cap of 116,000,000 9 20,000,000 for the Lakers to go spend on on whatever, whatever they need, they can divide that up.
They can chop it up and go after a few players.
Once they spend it.
The only will be able to spend is veteran minimum deals.
They may have the bi annual exception available, which would hard cap them if they use it.
So, you know, kind of a tough thing.
Do you use it? Do you not? Ah, and it's only a little over 3,000,000 so you're not gonna go get a major piece with that either.
So bottom line, look, they're going to be pretty limited in what they can been going forward.
But there is one avenue in that mid level exception.
How they spend That is gonna be really, really important next summer.
Look, if boogie is good and you have to blow it all on him, I'd be for it.
But if not, well, see, they're gonna have some other some, uh, some work to do in order to spend that money wisely.
Yeah, you're probably gonna be looking at bringing in a new, older player.
At that point, you might wanna have a shot at a ring.
And I got like, Serge Ibaka.
You know what would fit the mold if he wants to come here and play and try and find some minutes behind 80 and? And bookie ends up leaving.
So you're gonna have those type of guys available to You are older.
Ah, little bit more veterans.
Want to win a ring? And this would be the place to do it right? Yep.
That's Ah, that's what they be looking at trying to find guys that will come to the Lakers because of LeBron's presence and Anthony Davis's presence, which we've heard.
I mean, we've heard a few put players say that already.
They said, Look, we came here because the Lakers have two superstars, two of the best players in the league.
I mean, like, Danny Greene talked about that.
There were a number of guys who have talked about that already.
So, um, it shouldn't be too tough for them to attract players.
As long as everybody stays healthy, that's gonna be the key.
And, of course, next season next summer.
They could be heading into the last season of LeBron because Hillary have a player option after not this season, but the following season.
So that'll be something that will be weighing on them as well.
Ah, all right, Jess.
I think now is a pretty good time to wrap it up here.
We've covered a ton of different things.
Final thoughts, final comments as we as we kind of wind down what has been this crazy free agency period.
It's been a crazy free agency, period.
Only final thoughts are.
Make sure you treat your wife well, Get going.
Get this live TV set up.
So you're okay for our league past? I'm working on a man and I'm working on tonight.
I'm gonna do everything I can to set that It's set that up.
I think I'm just gonna move in.
I think? I think e u T TV's coming Friday.
I think I'm just gonna slide them into my office and just not say anything.
And don't spend too much time on your fantasy football draft.
She said she said, Well, you're never gonna come out of there that I'm like.
Well, I never come out of here now, so I didn't say that they were.
That would never work.
But you're running, but you're thinking and you still you still want to get your workspace set up.
All right. Yeah, exactly.
All right, guys. Thanks everybody for joining us.
Somebody has been watching.
Obviously we've been doing this on Sportscaster.
I do still want to do some over on Facebook.
Live where we started.
This sportscaster just been great helping us out here.
Eventually, we'd like to be ableto blast this out everywhere.
Periscope will do on Facebook.
That's very much a work in progress.
So appreciate everybody here joining us tonight.
All the questions that you threw at us.
We'll be continuing to do this through the offseason.
We'll check in at least once a week and make sure we do this.
The other night I went ahead and live streamed the, uh, the Lakers Nation podcast.
I was as I was recording it.
That's something that I plan to continue doing here.
So you guys can actually check that out and you can just watch the video version of it as I'm as I'm recording that.
So we'll keep doing that.
And again, thank you guys for coming in and joining us.
And don't forget to go buy some up time energy.
Drink it 7 11 GNC and amazon dot com.
And, of course, check out bed online dot e g by going to seal and as media dot com slash LeBron till next time guys.
Actually, you know what? Just let's pump up your Twitter account real quick.
Tell everybody what's going on.
Twitter handle is you need more. I am.
I am at J A s k a N g 21 I tweet very sporadically.
But when I do it so it's usually pretty much about the Lakers.
Does anyone that quantity quality over quantity? That's just go follow us on Twitter on.
If you want to follow me, you can follow me at forever. Underscore lane.
Alright, guys, Till next time