The Los Angeles Lakers can’t seem to catch a break. They lost out on Marcus Morris and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Darren Collison decided to stay retired and Andre Iguodala was traded to Miami. Add Reggie Jackson to list of players who won’t be wearing purple and gold this season.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Jackson has agreed on a buyout with the Detroit Pistons and has committed to the Los Angeles Clippers.
That’s the second player the Lakers may have wanted that the Clippers ended up with. Jackson would’ve been exactly what the Lakers needed for their second unit, but they miss out once again. Him going to the Clippers is just insult to injury as their second unit is already loaded. The Lakers may have a better regular-season record, but it’s going to be very difficult to keep up with the Clippers come playoff time.
Lakers Running out of Options
With Reggie Jackson no longer available, the Lakers have very limited options left. They have rumored interest in Tyler Johnson, but there hasn’t been much movement on that front. J.R. Smith is still sitting out there. He’s getting up there in age, but it’s possible he can still knock down a couple of big shots.
Dion Waiters is another name to watch. He’s a solid scorer but doesn’t help much as a ball-handler. Regardless, the Lakers could use his help. Jackson was probably the biggest impact player that could’ve been available to the Lakers and losing out on him is a blow. It’s unlikely a big difference maker falls on the team’s lap at this point. They’re just going to have to hope that what they have is enough to take down the Clippers.
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Don’t Count out Lakers Yet
If we’re talking about the depth of each roster, the Clippers have a clear advantage over the Lakers. There’s no way their second unit can hang with the likes of Reggie Jackson, Lou Williams and Marcus Morris. Their starting lineup ain’t too shabby, also, as they have two of the 10 best players in the NBA.
However, it would be unwise to count out the Lakers quite yet. The duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James is still better than the duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. It will be interesting if LeBron can keep up his amazing play deep into the postseason even at his age, but there’s no reason to think that he can’t. Davis has never done big things in the playoffs, but he’s also never been on a team this good. Those two are good enough to potentially lead the team to four wins out of seven games against the Clippers.
While Kyle Kuzma is wildly inconsistent, he’s also capable of great things. If the Lakers can get just a couple of big games out of him against the Clippers, that could make a difference. Also, they could have DeMarcus Cousins on the way before the playoffs. Though his injury will slow him down, he’s still capable of scoring a good amount of points. No, the Lakers won’t have an easy time with the Clippers, but they still have the ability to take them out.