The Los Angeles Lakers are in the most important position when they become NBA champions again next season. That’s good, because when you have LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the list, winning the ring is the expectation.
General manager Rob Pelinka (Rob Pelinka) brilliantly completed the lineup around his two superstars last offseason, attracting several veterans who contributed to the team’s 17th championship. Although the Lakers have limited options to try to improve the lineup, Pelinka can take some steps to increase the team’s financial flexibility and add more lineups for next season.
I caught up with ESPN̵
Q: What do you think of the Lakers’ dominance in Orlando, and what steps can Pelinka take to improve the lineup entering next season?
Wind Soul: “Two things about the bubble: I know how LeBron James will play. There are no secrets about his performance in the playoffs. Anthony Davis is absolutely great, not surprising. But. , You know, his playoff performance was unstable before. But I will tell you, if you encounter a problem, do you know what is the elixir? Play with LeBron James. Everyone seems to be getting better .
“Their role players are great. So if you are Rob Pelinka, you have to ask yourself, do we want to rely on this situation again? Or are we looking for upgrades? If I am Rob, I will seek to upgrade. I think the real question is (this): Is the Danny Green you can trade valuable? He is obviously underperforming. But his contract has one year left. Moreover, he may be valuable. I think The Lakers will investigate this.”
Q: How should the Lakers treat KCP? What kind of influence does he have in the negotiation?
Wind Soul: “That will be a tough negotiation, man. Because it’s very similar to what happened with JR Smith after the Cavaliers won the championship in 2016. It’s important because he is represented by Rich Paul. In that team, Rich Paul represented LeBron James and Tristan Thompson – Tristan is not like Anthony Davis – But he has two starters elsewhere. I remember the position of the Cavaliers is like watching, “There is no one there to provide this money to JR Smith, we can’t pay this money to JR Smith, this is not market value. Basically, what Rich said to the Cavaliers at the time was, “Our relationship with JR is not that he got bigger offers elsewhere. Our leverage is that you cannot replace him. If he leaves you, you will not be able to choose someone who can replace his value. I think that is the position of KCP.
“If I were Rich Paul, I would say’KCP is better than Danny Green. You paid Danny Green $15 million. I will accept $15.1 million and let us make a three-year deal. If you dislike this, then no one is willing to pay Kentavious Caldwell-Pope $15 million a year, and I would agree with you, especially in this market. However, I can see Rich Paul say: “Yes , He is worth 15 million to you. “I finally think the Lakers should pay for this. I’m not saying that this is $15 million, no matter how much they agree, whether it is $15 million, whether it is $13 million, what is this, because I want to own assets again. I think If you are the Lakers, I think you have to re-sign Rondo and give him some money. I think you signed Kyle Kuzma and gave him some decent money. I think you re-signed the KCP and gave him some considerable Money. First place, the Lakers can afford it. Second, the biggest problem they are currently upgrading the roster is that they don’t have too many deals. Well, this provides you with something that can be integrated for trading.
“They prepared a deal for another defender. That would be interesting. I see if they really keep going. He was a defender in the last year of his contract. Last year was great for his team, and That team may be looking for him. That would be interesting. But, I said, paying you, you have money, not only can make the team come back and bring them back a certain degree of happiness, but also for the next step Prepare for the transaction, and eventually you will need to update this team constantly.”
Q: The Lakers top cap. How does Pelinka improve the financial flexibility of the team so that it may gain some business in the short term and in the future?
Wind Soul: “The other thing is the expansion of Kuzma, I think you have to think about it. I have no other reason to pay Kyle Kuzma other than I need assets. By the way, I just want to say that I don’t like to treat players as assets. But when I talk to NBA teams, this is how they talk about them. I spent a lot of time with Kyle. I absolutely love him alone. I love that guy. He is a great guy. I want to be clear Say, I don’t want to discuss him, just say I want to weigh in. I will extend Kyle’s assets so that he becomes your asset, now, when the price may be lower (because he doesn’t have the biggest year) Time, I now extend it.
Q: How many years will LeBron play in the NBA?
Wind Soul: “His career has reached this incredible moment. We have seen it with other athletes. Although it is still rare. When you see a person who is absolutely at the top of the game psychologically, I don’t plan to It’s compared, but I don’t know if there is someone who can control the game more than LeBron. I don’t know if he is the best or what. But sometimes you will see incredible players, but when they reach that kind When the level of overall consciousness is reached, their bodies will collapse. I call it the golden sunset. He is in this golden sunset. How long will this golden sunset last? Kobe did not really do this because he was injured. Kellies, but Kobe is at that level. He is there. Jordan does. Jordan’s second and third consecutive championships are actually where LeBron is now. This is what I see now.
“We hope he won’t get hurt. But if he doesn’t get hurt, I think it might be a long summer golden sunset. I saw his limitations in the game. I saw where he slipped and I saw His athleticism is declining, but I see him not only making up for it through the way he controls the game. If you go back to the 2007 movie, that’s how you saw LeBron in the past. If you look like the 2007 game Watching the game the same way, you will not be like: “Oh my God, I don’t remember LeBron is a natural genius, my god, look at him. You know, boy, he has indeed taken a step. But then you look at the way LeBron played in 2007, and then look at the way LeBron played. He really didn’t know what he was doing. Look at this picture; what is this? What was he doing while defending there? This is ridiculous. But this is really amazing, you appreciate how much progress he has made in the game. “
Q: Is seizing Michael Jordan’s six championship titles the main motivation for him to continue playing?
Wind Soul: “I think one of the interesting things is that he will sign another multi-year contract thanks to Chris Paul Rule, or he will sign a one-year contract and keep it Its right to choose? But I think he is in this glorious sunset. I think he smelled blood on the six rings again. You know, when he got third place, he smelled blood. After the 3-1 fall (he thought he was at the top of the world and unshakable), he accepted an interview with Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated. I don’t remember the exact quote. He first proposed the concept of chasing ghosts, but now He basically announced that I was chasing Michael. Well, guess what, and then Durant came to the Warriors and he was nailed. His team was not good enough. So, I think he has fewer chasers. Now, I think he smelled this odor again in his nostrils. For example, wait a minute and see how this Mr. AD is doing. We will get together here.
“In this playoffs, they looked very good. I mean, no matter what he says, they are better than LeBron thinks. I don’t care if he talks openly about the playoffs. They are really great. They pulled out. They were just one team after another, and the Miami team performed well. I know they were injured, but the Miami team did well and the Lakers knocked them out. So my guess is that he smelled it , It will only further activate him.”
Thank you very much Brian for sitting down with us. You can follow him on Twitter at @WindhorstESPN.
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