New teams, old faces, bad decisions
NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus (The Freeman) - February 13, 2019 - 12:00am

The NBA player sweepstakes had ended and the biggest story was how the LA Lakers got screwed by the New Orleans Pelicans.  It would be safe to say that the Pels never had the intention of releasing Anthony Davis to a franchise that has the league’s most demanding superstar and cry baby. 

 

Eventually, AD would be leaving the Pelicans when he becomes a free agent next year and the Pels will continue to underperform.  New Orleans refused a stupidly mega offer from Los Angeles that would dramatically change their future without AD and this made them more stupider.  Then they shipped Nikola Mirotic to Milwaukee which made the Bucks stronger in the middle and thus gives the Greek Freak more freedom to operate. 

Meanwhile, the Lakers, not content with their dumb proposals, sent to their LA rivals Ivica Zubac and Michael Beasley to the Clippers for Mike Muscala to open a roster spot.  Goodness freaking gracious, they could have just waived Beasley and Lance Stephenson for that matter. 

Muscala is 27, a 6-foot-11 stretch four.  Zubac is 21, two inches taller and is having a career year.  He has the potential to become one of the league’s top centers and of late, had been playing well.  Zu has a slightly better stat line and I would rather go for him as he has an age advantage over Muscala when we talk of player development.   In his first game as a Laker, Muscala was a non-factor in that no-defense loss to Philadelphia.  Zu on the other hand debuted with the Clippers with a solid 12-point, 9-rebound, 3-block output in a comeback win against Boston.

Tyson Chandler and JaVale McGee are still capable veterans but the Lakers just threw away their future big man in the middle for nothing.  They do have an agile Moritz Wagner but his minutes are during garbage time.  A Zu-Wagner pair is much better than a Muscala-Wagner.  I say Zubac is more valuable to the Lakers than Muscala.   

The Lakers had imploded since management attempted to dismantle the young core.  The result was obvious with the Indiana game.  You don’t expect your guys to go all out with the thought that they had become unwanted and with the perception that a diva teammate is strongly pushing for a damn revamp.  The situation is simply sickening for a Laker fan like me.   Reportedly, the open spot is for Carmelo Anthony.  With the way things are going, I won’t be surprised if they trade Lonzo Ball or any of the young guys for Dwayne Wade.  Then the Lakers will have the distinction of becoming the NBA’s home for the aged.

You can be a basketball legend, a hall of famer but you can also suck in team management.  Phil Jackson was a brilliant coach, Magic Johnson was a generational talent.  Both excelled in their careers but when they dipped their hands into management, things got screwed. The New York Knicks became worse and now, the LA Lakers are floundering.  Magic and Rob Pelinka just don’t have the intention of developing talents.  Next to go at season’s will be Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball.

Currently 10th in the WC with a 28-28 win-loss record, I sincerely doubt if they reach the playoffs considering the present personnel situation.  The Lakers sucked some more after the trades.  They have to get past a much improved Sacramento (30-26) and a surging Clippers (31-26).  Sitting at 7th, Greg Popovich will do everything in his power to will his Spurs to go up as they’re only a game and a half behind 5th placed Houston.

***

With the recent player movements, it would now be wrong to call the East as weak. Toronto had gotten better with the entry of Marc Gasol. He has slowed down but the Raptors now have a legit interior defender and scorer to compliment Kawhi Leonard.  Although 8 years older than Jonas Valanciunas who was sent to Memphis, Gasol has a higher basketball IQ.   Jeremy Lin is reportedly coming on board to add depth to their backcourt.

The Tobi-Bobi connection continues in Philly when the duo of Tobias Harris and Boban Marjanovic were sent to Philadelphia.  The Sixers had made a serious upgrade in their front court and they gleefully kicked the defenseless Laker butts.  They also sent their still injured 2017 1st pick Markelle Fultz to Orlando for a more serviceable Jonathon Simmons.  Fultz could be the point guard that the Magic badly needed.

Counting the Bucks, Boston will now have to contend with the Raptors and the Sixers for Eastern supremacy. 

For comments or reactions, you can reach me at bobbymotus1961@gmail.com

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