League File | Standings | Schedule | League Leaders | Free Agents

Better Than Expected: Lakers Season Review

Write updates about your team or the league here.
Post Reply
User avatar
Jestor
Chairman of the Board
Posts: 3196
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:55 am

Better Than Expected: Lakers Season Review

Post by Jestor » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:27 pm

Team Projected To Win Less Than 10 Games Won 16
Image
Emmanuel Mudiay became one of the surprise stories of the season

It was a busy offseason for the Los Angeles Lakers as the team finally went in to complete rebuilding mode, tearing down the roster and preparing for a long season short on wins. It began with a flurry of trades - some minor and some significant.
Los Angeles Lakers send
Marcus Paige - $1,146,337

Los Angeles Lakers receive
Abdel Nader - $792,682

Total Sent - $1,146,337
Total Received - $792,682

Washington Wizards send
Abdel Nader - $792,682

Washington Wizards receive
Marcus Paige - $1,146,337
Although a popular backup PG, Paige was discarded in favor of the poor man's 3&D prospect in Nader. The 22 year old shot 38.2% from behind the arc and started 24 games over the last part of the season, but though he had range and a 0.96 PA/SF ratio, he stopped just 53% of drives and was awful shooting anywhere inside. Like most of the roster, he'll hit free agency and not return after a disappointing tryout.
Los Angeles Lakers send
Khris Middleton - $5,164,444

Los Angeles Lakers receive
Los Angeles Lakers 2022 1st
Chicago Bulls 2023 2nd
Los Angeles Clippers 2023 2nd
Portland Trailblazers 2023 2nd

Salary Sent - $5,164,444
Salary Received - $0

Chicago Bulls send
Los Angeles Lakers 2022 1st
Chicago Bulls 2023 2nd
Los Angeles Clippers 2023 2nd
Portland Trailblazers 2023 2nd

Chicago Bulls receive
Khris Middleton - $5,164,444
Middleton failed to live up to initial Mateen Yeaton comparisons, so the former presumed key piece was shipped to Chicago for a raft of picks - most critically the Lakers' own 1st this year back, which presently sits #2 before the lottery and is a guaranteed Top 5 selection, no matter how the balls fall. Given that the class has approximately 6 players in Tier 1, it's the perfect situation for the Lakers to find a better fit than the talented but foul-prone former Texas A&M star. Watch for the Clippers 2nd next year as well - their free agency bleeding could end up the in-town rivals' gain.
Los Angeles Lakers send
Draft Rights to Luke Kennard - $0

Los Angeles Lakers receive
Tyler Stone - $8,700,000
Indiana Pacers 2024 1st round pick

Total Salary Sent - $0
Total Salary Received - $8,700,00
Los Angeles Lakers have cap room after renouncements and Middleton trade

Indiana Pacers send
Tyler Stone - $8,700,000
Indiana Pacers 2024 1st round pick

Indiana Pacers receive
Draft Rights to Luke Kennard - $0
After Derrick White went a single pick before the Lakers' selection to the Pacific foe Sacramento Kings and Ding Yanyuhang was a stunning overdraft by the Miami Heat, the Purple and Gold bailed on the selection. In return, they picked up Stone and the Pacers' 24 1st. The veteran big man played brilliantly (10.4 points, 8.9 rebounds, 56.3%), but is a duplication of Cheick Diallo and too old for the Lakers' window, so he'll head to another team next season. Despite efforts to find a deal to further increase the return, none could be found.
Los Angeles Lakers send
Milwaukee Bucks 2023 2nd

Los Angeles Lakers receive
Keifer Sykes - $8,448,650

Total Salary Sent - $0
Total Salary Received - $8,448,650
Los Angeles Lakers have cap after renouncements and Middleton trade to take on deal

Houston Rockets send
Keifer Sykes - $8,448,650

Houston Rockets receive
Milwaukee Bucks 2023 2nd
A cautionary tale on committing to trades too early, the Lakers honored the verbal despite their change of direction, earning goodwill points. Initially projected to be the team's leading scorer, Sykes saw his minutes get cut after midseason trades and a roster rearrangement. Presently, he stands as the backup SG who will score efficiently and get some steals to counterbalance his turnover issues. Side note: He did become the leading scorer - 15.3 points on 46.6% shooting.
Indiana Pacers send
Austin Rivers - $1,976,210

Indiana Pacers receive
Nothing

Total Salary Sent $1,976,210
Total Salary Received - $0

Los Angeles Lakers send
Nothing

Los Angeles Lakers receive
Austin Rivers - $1,976,210
Rivers shocked everyone in the CSL by going from 5.7 points and 1.9 assists on 41% shooting, 41% from 3 to 14.6 points and 7 assists on 44% shooting, 42% behind the arc with a 70.8% DSR and a 0.92 PA/SF with a 2.1 A/TO ratio. In doing so, he put himself in prime position to win the Most Improved Player award. He also became one of the league leaders in assists and continued racking up dimes at SG (More on that later). An RFA this offseason, there's little question he'll be retained, returning either as the SG or a combo guard off the bench.

The Lakers' lone FA signing was Jon Leuer, who didn't have much PT or impact and didn't get the coaching work he was expected to. Still, he's young enough at 27 next season and on a cheap enough $3 million/year flat-rate contract with a TO in his last season that he could become part of a trade or even get the work he needs to become what he's capable of.

Things proceeded as expected and more deals came during the year.
Los Angeles Lakers send
Cap Space

Los Angeles Lakers receive
David Nwaba - $762,195

Total Salary Sent - $0
Total Salary Received - $762,195

Cleveland Cavaliers send
David Nwaba - $762,195

Cleveland Cavaliers receive
Cap Space
Another tryout, Nwaba was terrible as a backup PG and won't return.
Utah Jazz send
Emmanuel Mudiay - $3,223,078

Utah Jazz receive
Georgios Papagiannis - $2,067,800
Patrick McCaw - $1,190,696
Utah Jazz 2022 1st

Total Salary Sent - $3,223,078
Total Salary Received - $3,258,496

Los Angeles Lakers send
Georgios Papagiannis - $2,067,800
Patrick McCaw - $1,190,696
Utah Jazz 2022 1st

Los Angeles Lakers receive
Emmanuel Mudiay - $3,223,078
Posted mere hours before the end of the trade deadline, we all know what happened here. Mudiay became the PG Who Caught Fire and firmly stamped himself as the Lakers' PG of the present and future. He'll be 23 next year and whilst an RFA this summer, any contract will be matched - even a max deal. He's that important a piece, and that's even before work on his shooting form is complete.

Meanwhile, Greek Papa continued disappointing with Utah, the Jazz finishing with a worse record and currently being overrun by Oklahoma City in the first round.

Sparked by Mudiay, the Purple and Gold went from 7 victories to 16 over the course of their last 25 games, the 9-16 mark, the 36% win percentage good enough to put them 7th worst in the league, virtually tied with Brooklyn for 8th worst (and had a single narrow loss flipped the Lakers' way, they'd be at 40% winning).

Image
Austin Rivers is an asshole, but he ran deep for the Lakers this year and should be the consensus MIP

The Mudiay-Rivers Connection
The Lakers went 3-5 in April after Austin Rivers' return, but that included a murderer's row of four games that featured contenders, playoff teams, and a vastly improved John Wall-led Denver Nuggets. Although press deadline prevents in-depth numbers, a quick counting stats:

Emmanuel Mudiay: 14 points, 6.6 assists, 2.3 A/TO ratio, 1.1 steals, 2 Player of the Game awards
Austin Rivers: 19.8 points, 5.3 assists, 2.5 A/TO ratio, 1 steal

for a combined 33.8 points, 11.9 assists, 2.4 A/TO ratio, and a steal per game. Another note on Mudiay: He had 10+ points in 24 of his 25 games with the Lakers, a remarkable level of consistency for a player many deemed not to have it. Also important to consider - though we don't have the raw numbers, both players shot better when paired next to each other than they have separately, something also seen with Ricky Rubio and Kyrie Irving in Cleveland.

Other Players Worth Noting
Mateusz Ponitka: Shot an incredible 51.7% from the floor for 12.7 points to follow up last year's 49.5% shooting for 7.8 points. Also more than doubled his steal average - 0.3 to 0.7, and got himself shortlisted in a contract year. He'll be renounced, but he's flown under the radar in a major way.

Cheick Diallo: Got up close to his rookie season numbers after getting benched and then off to a slow start when he finally did get in the lineup again. Said to be very unhappy with the new coaching regime, but the front office will try to repair the damage over the summer.

Looking Ahead
Keifer Sykes, Cheick Diallo, and Jon Leuer are under contract. Christian Wood, who went out with injury after midway through the season after shooting a career-high 49.1%, will have his Team Option declined and renounced.

That means, even when Emmanuel Mudiay and Austin Rivers return either via outright re-signing or matching contracts, and the first round pick comes aboard, there will be just 6 players signed. That leaves between 6-9 roster spots available. The good news? The Lakers will enter free agency with only around $15 million in committed money, meaning there's just short of $49 million in cap space to play with.

Draft Pick Situation:
Lakers 2022 1st
Lakers 2023 1st
Bulls 2023 2nd
Blazers 2023 2nd
Clippers 2023 2nd
Lakers 2024 1st
Pacers 2024 1st
Lakers 2024 2nd

8 draft picks over the next 3 years, including 4 1st round picks - that makes cap space and picks here in spades, three core pieces in Mudiay, Rivers, and Diallo, with a 4th to come this draft. The rebuild situation is looking good in Lakerland.

User avatar
hardenwithnod
Chairman of the Board
Posts: 3624
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:26 pm

Re: Better Than Expected: Lakers Season Review

Post by hardenwithnod » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:21 pm

This will be a critical off-season for you, as you have a chance to land a potential franchise piece with that pick, and cap space to work with. It will be an exciting offseason for you guys.

I still can't believe Indy gave you Austin Rivers for free. They could have easily used him, and perhaps made it in as an 8th seed with his production lmao.
The Future is Here!

Milos Teodosic/Mike Conley Jr/Damien Inglis/Tristan Thompson/Walter Tavares

User avatar
Jestor
Chairman of the Board
Posts: 3196
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:55 am

Re: Better Than Expected: Lakers Season Review

Post by Jestor » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:13 pm

Yeah it'll be very interesting. What will probably happen is I re-sign Mudiay and Rivers, miss out on targets, sign a bunch of guys to 1 year deals, and just roll cap over to next summer to continue the slow rebuild.

I actually forgot Rivers was a free pickup. For some reason I thought it was him rather than Stone in that pick deal.

User avatar
Cleasby
General Manager
Posts: 948
Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2015 6:45 pm

Re: Better Than Expected: Lakers Season Review

Post by Cleasby » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:33 am

Crazy how well rivers has done for you. It is also nice to see mudiay finally get some love in the league.as Gary said off-season is huge for you and you need to make sure you hit with that top5 pick.
2020-2021 CSL coach of the year

User avatar
Jestor
Chairman of the Board
Posts: 3196
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:55 am

Re: Better Than Expected: Lakers Season Review

Post by Jestor » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:00 pm

Yeah even I was stunned by Rivers' production. Absolute shocker. Would be great to hit the Top 5 pick but I have all my 1sts going forward plus other picks so I've some wiggle room.

User avatar
OneNole
Chairman of the Board
Posts: 3237
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:36 pm

Re: Better Than Expected: Lakers Season Review

Post by OneNole » Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:51 pm

I hope that I am wrong, but my gut tells me that mudiay will just be another player who is labeled as a laker franchise cornerstone who instead gets overpaid, plays poorly and is subsequently traded after losing favor. I still dont think he is anything more than a 5th/6th man but I could be wrong.
FINALLY a logical HC Rule our work is done

User avatar
Andrewu91
Senior Vice President
Posts: 1208
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:42 am

Re: Better Than Expected: Lakers Season Review

Post by Andrewu91 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:21 pm

OneNole wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:51 pm
I hope that I am wrong, but my gut tells me that mudiay will just be another player who is labeled as a laker franchise cornerstone who instead gets overpaid, plays poorly and is subsequently traded after losing favor. I still dont think he is anything more than a 5th/6th man but I could be wrong.
Way to brighten Tim's day. It's been a tough few years for the Lakers.
OKC Thunder
4-0 win over Utah

User avatar
Flaming Homer
General Manager
Posts: 670
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:31 pm

Re: Better Than Expected: Lakers Season Review

Post by Flaming Homer » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:44 pm

I think the Lakers are way better compared to a year ago.
I had my doubt if the Middleton deal will work out, but in this draft class I would rather have the pick.
The direction seems clear and if Mudiay and Rivers can play on this level on a constant base, the young foundation is set.

User avatar
Jestor
Chairman of the Board
Posts: 3196
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:55 am

Re: Better Than Expected: Lakers Season Review

Post by Jestor » Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:44 pm

OneNole wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:51 pm
I hope that I am wrong, but my gut tells me that mudiay will just be another player who is labeled as a laker franchise cornerstone who instead gets overpaid, plays poorly and is subsequently traded after losing favor. I still dont think he is anything more than a 5th/6th man but I could be wrong.
Could be. Anything is possible. But we'll see what happens.

User avatar
Jestor
Chairman of the Board
Posts: 3196
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:55 am

Re: Better Than Expected: Lakers Season Review

Post by Jestor » Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:47 pm

Flaming Homer wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:44 pm
I think the Lakers are way better compared to a year ago.
I had my doubt if the Middleton deal will work out, but in this draft class I would rather have the pick.
The direction seems clear and if Mudiay and Rivers can play on this level on a constant base, the young foundation is set.
Yep, Middleton trade was a gamble, but like Myles pointed out in the podcast, that pick was worth it to us on an order of magnitude that would have made no sense for any other team to make that move. I'm happy with how it played out - Middleton in this draft class would be somewhere in the Top 5-10 range IMO - I think his discipline would lock him out of the Top 3.

Rivers showed this year he can be precisely the combo guard I expected when I acquired him. I project he'll be a 6th man like Napier once we get another 2 guard in here.

Post Reply