Summary of “Wilt Chamberlain’s Trade to Los Angeles, 50 Years Later”

Los Angeles as a basketball city-the reputation of tradition and prominence that it has now-couldn’t buy a ring from the Boston Celtics until Wilt Chamberlain showed up.
In actuality, it was Wilt, then two years younger than LeBron is now and with comparable influence, pulling off a shadow free-agency move, 20 years before unrestricted free agency existed-and in doing so, simultaneously creating basketball’s earliest superteam.
“Kosloff and I argued about that through the whole summer after we won the championship,” Chamberlain wrote, “And I finally decided that I couldn’t play for the man any more if that’s the way he was going to treat me.” They finally came to an alternative agreement, equally unique: Kosloff would settle the dispute by paying a lump sum and tearing up Wilt’s three-year contract to sign him to a new one-year deal-with the understanding that after it expired, Wilt was free to go.
For the first time in his NBA career, the only person who owned the rights to Wilt was Wilt.
“There’s no way they could get fair value for Wilt to trade him,” said Melchionni.
“Players were sent as token payment,” Billy Libby wrote in his book Goliath, “Darrall Imhoff, Archie Clark, and Jerry Chambers-but by terms of his final pact with Kosloff, Wilt was free to go where he wanted. For Cooke, getting Wilt was merely a matter of getting together with him on a contract.”
By the time Wilt moved to Los Angeles, he was a four-time MVP, an NBA champion, and a seven-time leading scorer and rebounder, and he had ended the season prior as, why not, the leader in assists; Baylor had finished in the top three in MVP voting four times and had been named to nine All-NBA first teams; West had been named to six All-NBA first teams and had finished top three and top two in MVP voting.
By the time Wilt arrived, Baylor’s knees were going, while Chamberlain also had injury issues.

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Summary of “It Sounds Like the Lakers’ Young Roster Is Here to Stay”

LeBron James’s decision to play for the Lakers has inevitably flipped the franchise upside down.
To beat the best team ever assembled, and to beat them as soon as possible, the Lakers are banking on the best player in the world and a grab bag of intangibles? Really, they are also banking on youth.
The Lakers are playing the long game; they just don’t want to publicly admit it.
As trade talks between the Spurs and Lakers seem to have stalled out for now, reality is settling in: This is the roster around LeBron James.
Pelinka spoke of the team’s young players in a way that suggested they’d be sticking around, touting Hart’s, Ingram’s, and Kuzma’s abilities from beyond the arc.
The Lakers assessed that they already had the spacing to allow LeBron to thrive on the roster.
I’m not certain LeBron picked L.A. with the desire to be a mentor to the young Lakers, as well as a mediator among Stephenson, McGee, KCP, and Rondo.
Given how quiet it’s been on that front, it seems like the Lakers are sticking with this roster, like they’re going to take the risk and wait until Kawhi’s free agency like they did Paul George’s, and like they’re all in on their young players for the foreseeable future.

The orginal article.

Summary of “In Remembrance of the Terrible, Meaningless Lakers”

Not one player who shared the floor with Kobe that night will be on the team when the 2018-19 season tips off and the Lakers usher in a new era of relevance.
Because the ease with which the team recovered from that span explains more about the Lakers than all of the stories that we’ll actually remember.
After winning the season series against the Lakers just once in the first 28 years that the two teams shared a city, the Clippers have won every season series since 2012-13, going 21-3 with three season sweeps.
The Clippers’ brief run of L.A. dominance will be forgotten, as the Lakers have snapped back to relevance simply by being the Lakers.
In their fallow years, the Lakers did not act like a rebuilding team.
The primary reason the Lakers should challenge for championships moving forward is because LeBron wanted to play for the Lakers, and he wanted to play for the Lakers primarily because they’re the Lakers.
If any other team in the NBA was as bad as the Lakers for as long as the Lakers while making as many horrible choices as the Lakers, we’d treat them like, well, the Clippers.
We remember the Lakers for their peaks: Showtime, with Magic, Kareem, and Big Game James; the three-peat, with Shaq, Kobe, and Phil; and now a future with LeBron James, perhaps the greatest player of them all.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Nine Lingering Questions About the LeBron James-Era Lakers”

With Kawhi Leonard still in limbo, the Lakers still in possession of a moderate amount of cap space, and fit questions up and down the roster, there’s still plenty to sort out over the coming weeks.
What position will LeBron play? LeBron has spent the past few seasons in Cleveland playing an amorphous point-forward role with a usage rate that always ranked among the league’s highest.
Based on a report by ESPN on Thursday, it appears that the Lakers are planning for LeBron to migrate toward the rim on offense, not away from it, in L.A. The goal is reportedly for James to become more of a post player who finishes and facilitates, rather than a primary playmaker.
The onus to coach this smorgasbord of a roster falls on the 38-year-old Walton, who was drafted the same year as LeBron and is now going into his third season as Lakers head coach.
Maybe a free-agent shooter like Wayne Ellington wasn’t willing to take a one-year deal to play with LeBron in L.A., but it sounds like the Lakers didn’t make an effort to target such a player, anyway.
If the Lakers trade for Kawhi before the season begins, then winning now will feel far more plausible, LeBron at the post will be far more palatable, and all the signings that made us go “Huh?” won’t feel as ill-fitting.
What did the Lakers learn from the Paul George saga? Aside from never pinning your hopes on a guy willing to do a three-part documentary to chronicle the decision he’d already made? Well, there was this interesting quote from George’s ESPN special that shed light on his thinking: “I wanted to come [to L.A.] a year ago, prior to going to OKC. Unfortunately, I wasn’t traded to the Lakers. The Lakers didn’t grab me. I was traded to Oklahoma. And that has been a beautiful thing for me.”
Even if Magic and the Lakers haven’t yet earned the benefit of the doubt, LeBron certainly has.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What should the Lakers do now with LeBron James?”

Now that the Los Angeles Lakers have landed LeBron James, how aggressively should they pursue a Kawhi Leonard trade? Our NBA Insiders discuss their options now and where else the Spurs could turn for a possible Leonard deal.
Should the Lakers take that approach with Leonard? Remember, they could sign him outright next year.
The Lakers are really giving up the players and picks they trade plus the potential of an alternative free agent to trade for Leonard now, and that deal wouldn’t be worth it for me unless the Spurs’ price came way, way down.
Once Stephenson and McGee are signed, the Lakers go over the cap and will need to get close to $16 million in outgoing contracts in a Leonard trade.
The presence of James should be a good enough sales pitch to lure Leonard, Butler or possibly James’ old teammate Kyrie.
Marks: If the Lakers take the patient approach, where should the Spurs turn their attention in finding a new home for Leonard?
Even for an All-NBA-level player in Leonard, it would be hard for me to trade Robert Covington and Dario Saric, given Kawhi’s injury concerns and expiring contract.
With LeBron out West, I would take a chance on Leonard if he looks healthy.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Lakers signings part of Magic’s plan”

Shortly after LeBron James announced he would sign a four-year, $153 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday evening, his longtime ear-whisperer, Lance Stephenson, agreed to become his teammate.
Here is the answer: exactly what James and Lakers president Magic Johnson planned when they met for more than three hours on the first night of free agency.
According to multiple sources within the Lakers and close to James, this is the rollout of a plan Johnson outlined for James the night of June 30 at James’ home.
The subsequent deals, which sources say James has consulted on but have been executed at Johnson and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka’s direction, follow this vision.
The Lakers are indeed attempting to chart a new course for James’ Lakers future, one that is vastly different from the style of basketball he played with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“Unlike most free agents changing teams, LeBron is arriving with the Lakers as an all-time great,” a source close to James said.
What Johnson pitched to James was a team stocked with tough-minded playmakers like Stephenson and Rondo who could free up James to finish in the lanes and from the post, rather than having to create the lion’s share of the offense himself.
Beyond James’ role, the Lakers realize they have a young team and see adding Rondo as a key piece to provide leadership besides James.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How close are LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers to winning a title?”

LeBron James is headed to the Los Angeles Lakers, with or without another superstar alongside him.
The timing of James’ announcement that he has agreed to a four-year, maximum deal with the Lakers – including a player option in the final year – a day after Paul George and Chris Paul reportedly agreed to re-sign with their current teams suggests that this decision wasn’t necessarily about the players he’ll join in L.A. With James electing to sign a long-term deal rather than playing year to year, as he did after returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers four years ago, it further indicates that he is in this for the long haul rather than focused on challenging the Golden State Warriors right away.
Still, the whole purpose of signing James is building the Lakers back into a championship contender.
Though James seems largely impervious to the effects of aging, at 33 there is urgency for the Lakers to get there sooner rather than later.
The Lakers could still get up to $16-plus million in cap space by waiving forward Luol Deng, while stretching the remaining two years on his contract would get the Lakers to nearly $25 million in cap room.
Will the Lakers add another star in 2019?The scenario I’ve outlined where the Lakers sign nothing but one-year deals this summer would leave L.A. with something like $25 million in cap space in 2019 with Deng on the books.
Let’s take an early stab at what we can expect from the Lakers with LeBron utilizing projections based on the multi-year, predictive version of ESPN’s real plus-minus.
The Lakers don’t likely have a path to challenging the Warriors next season, even with James.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The King Has Landed: Making Sense of LeBron James in Purple and Gold”

Around the start of the 2017 NBA playoffs, executives and agents across the NBA began to increasingly discuss the possibility of LeBron James taking his talents to the Lakers after hitting free agency in 2018.
LeBron James agreed to a four-year, $154 million contract with the Lakers, Klutch Sports announced in a press release on Sunday night.
With LeBron officially agreeing to sign with the Lakers, it’ll be fascinating to monitor what type of leverage the Spurs can create for Kawhi Leonard, who still desires to play for the Lakers, according to multiple league sources-all of whom say offers to the Spurs have been underwhelming.
If the Lakers play hardball, it’ll be difficult for the Spurs to create any leverage if Leonard is indeed hell-bent on joining the Lakers by any means necessary.
If the Lakers take a power-play route, they can give LeBron something he has never had in his career: a contender that’s built to last.
If James brings the Lakers back and starts a new era of glory days in Los Angeles, it’s another notch in his column for the GOAT argument.
If LeBron wins a title or titles in Los Angeles, it’d mean that his team toppled the so-called inevitable Warriors dynasty in the most loaded conference in league history and then took down a formidable opponent in the East: Likely either the young, hungry Sixers or a Celtics team helmed by his former teammate in Kyrie Irving.
The Lakers ultimately provide LeBron with a world of upside: the chance to win another title with his third team in a new conference in a new era while guiding the most popular basketball franchise in the world back to the top of the league.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The LeBron James to Los Angeles storyline won’t die, but is LeBron even a fit for the Lakers?”

His first season as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers was such a rough one, there were actually two eight-game losing streaks, a six-game losing streak and three other losing streaks of at least four games that could have sent him to one of his closest mentors for advice.
They have an opportunity to fast-forward their timeline to contend for championships again if they can sign free agents like Paul George, 27, or LeBron James, 33.
Can superstars already in their prime, like James or George, fit into the culture the Lakers have spent the past few seasons trying to build? Can the Lakers’ young core evolve quickly enough to play at James’ or George’s level?
James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will spend this weekend in Los Angeles being serenaded by hopeful Lakers fans and looking at four adoring billboards placed around the city by a self-described Lakers diehard, Jacob Emrani.
If James were to join a young team like the Lakers, he’d immediately become the center of the Los Angeles sports universe.
James would be some 10 years older than the Lakers’ best players, with at least three rings and more basketball wisdom than the entire core put together.
As one league source put it, if LeBron James goes to the Lakers, they were able to clear space like Cleveland did when James returned to the Cavs in 2014.
If LeBron James decides to stay in Cleveland, it won’t be because he and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert have suddenly started going out for Frappuccinos together.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Five NBA Trades That Almost Happened”

As you ready yourself for an afternoon on NBA Twitter, here are a few trades that could have changed the landscape of the league.
In a conversation with Bill Simmons on the Grantland Basketball Hour in 2015, Bryant recalled that the Lakers had agreed to a trade that would send him to Detroit for a package that included Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and an assortment of draft picks.
The Warriors won 67 games that season en route to the NBA Finals, where they topped the Cavaliers, who picked up Love in a three-way deal centered on no.
The big winners were the Hornets, who would have flipped a star who didn’t want to stay in New Orleans for four established NBA contributors and a first-round pick.
Picking up another star to play alongside LeBron and recent addition Shaquille O’Neal could’ve propelled the Cavs past the Celtics in the second round, and likely into an NBA Finals matchup with the Lakers.
Boston entered the 2015 NBA draft with two mid-to-late first-round picks and its focus locked on Duke forward Justise Winslow.
After failing to trade for picks 4-8, Ainge reportedly offered the Charlotte Hornets-owners of the ninth pick-a king’s ransom: as many as six picks, including four potential first-rounders, for the privilege of drafting Winslow.
Charlotte declined the offer and picked Frank Kaminsky, and the Celtics picked up Terry Rozier at no.

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