So as the Panda Squad heads into the draft and free agency the team’s needs remain the same as last season perimeter defense, rim protection and on court leadership. Heading into the summer the Los Angeles Lakers have a few decisions to make and they all are a result of bad decisions made last summer. But hey lets start with the good news.
Following an entertaining yet sometimes frustrating season the Pandas managed to hold on to our top 3 protected draft pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. We also traded super sub Lou Williams to the Rockets for their first round pick which comes in at number 28. Most draft experts believe the Lakers first pick will be hometown kid Lonzo Ball. De’Aaron Fox from Kentucky and Josh Jackson are also options at the two spot. With the 28th pick the Lakers should be looking for defense on the perimeter.
Now onto the bad news even with all the young talent the Lakers have acquired in the draft the last three seasons our salary cap is weighed down by two head scratching decisions made in free agency last summer. Yep Jimmy Buss decided to hand out big money deals to Luo Deng and Timofey Mozgov that will eat up 32 million dollars worth of cap space in the 2017-18 season. Even still the Lakers have about 23 million in cap space to find their next superstar in free agency. Rumor has it Paul George wants to wear the purple and gold but until I see him in the uniform it’s just a rumor.
So does the revamped front office led by Earvin “Magic” Johnson try to move one or both of their big contracts to land a star? Or will the Pandas lead by second year coach Luke Walton push forward with a mismatched roster of young developing stars and veterans who are better served as role players at this point in their career. Only the future will tell but it’s Los Angeles whatever we do we’ll do it with flair and the NBA world will be watching.