Lakers Warned Against Banking on Buy-Out Additions

Rob Pelinka and Darvin Ham, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Rob Pelinka and Darvin Ham, Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are 2-6 on the season and have a seriously disjointed roster in dire need of an overhaul.

However, according to a Western Conference Executive who spoke to Heavy on Sports’ Sean Deveney under the condition of anonymity, the Lakers shouldn’t expect to be ‘players’ in the buy-out market, as their current struggles will be offputting to championship-chasing veterans or players looking to rebuild their value.

“It will be interesting to see what the buyout market might present them going forward because, in the past few years, they have sold some players on the prospect of playing with LeBron and going deep in the playoffs. But they haven’t done that, so at this point, players are not going to believe them. They have almost relied on buyouts to boost their roster but it is not going to happen this year.

There might be a very limited number of guys who get buyouts for one thing, and if they’re valuable, they sure are not going to the Lakers if they want to win. They need someone who can score, badly. If they can get hold of a (Malik) Beasley or a (Doug) McDermott, they would have to jump at the chance. Garrison Matthews, is another possible guy. But they are not going to be the top spot for buyout guys the way they have been in the past,” The executive said.

Of course, the Lakers could become a desirable destination for free agents and those who have been bought out by their teams, if they continue to show the type of improvement we’ve seen from them over their last three or four games.


LeBron James Wants More Commitment to Defense

On November 4, the Lakers fell to a 130-116 defeat at the hands of the Utah Jazz. To begin the season, Los Angeles was a sturdy defensive team but struggled to consistently put points on the board. However, against Utah, they flipped the script and became a porous defensive unit.

Speaking to the media following the game, LeBron voiced his frustration at the Lakers’ defensive regression and noted how their route to success starts by limiting opposing teams’ scoring ability.

“We don’t never want it to happen, but there are some games throughout the course of an 82-game season where you obviously just don’t have it defensively. And we didn’t have it for 48 minutes. We had it in spurts. But, we know in order for us to win, we’ve gotta defend. And, tonight, I think we had a 50-40-90 offensive night, and we still lost. So, that’s why I was talking earlier in the season about ‘it’s not about the offense, we have to defend.’ Obviously, we gotta make shots, but if we defend, we’re gonna give ourselves a better chance to win,” LeBron said.


Darvin Ham Left Unimpressed by Lakers Efforts

As a rookie head coach, Darvin Ham was always going to have a learning curve. However, even though the Lakers have looked frail on offense, their defensive mindset has been encouraging and has always looked like a potential identity for this current version of the Lakers.

So, it’s understandable then, that Ham was left disappointed by the Lakers’ capitulation at the hands of a rebuilding Jazz team, leading him to voice his frustration during his post-game press conference. 

“We took a huge step backward tonight. Giving up 75 points in the first half, and giving them at least three 30-plus-point quarters. We can’t play like that. We were good during different small stretches. But, the overall picture that was painted by us defensively, sucks. And, we’ll address it through film, practice, get together tomorrow, and dig deep and do a deep dive on why things were the way they were tonight,” Ham said.

The Lakers will be back in action on Sunday, November 6, when they face the 7-1 Cleveland Cavaliers.
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