WWJD: What Would Josh Do.

By on March 19, 2014

WWJD: What Would Josh Do.

PHIL JACKSON – NY KNICKS (USA TODAY Sports / The Star-Leger)

Some Lakers fans are pissed that Phil Jackson is now running the Knicks, some are pissed that Jim Buss and the rest of the Buss clan let Phil walk away and take his talents to New York, I am not one of those fans. I’ll always appreciate what Phil has done for the Lakers organization but I understand the Buss kids couldn’t and wouldn’t give up all their power and allow Phil to have the final say in all things Basketball. Phil is a mastermind of a coach, he is extremely intelligent and the Zen Master, but he has never ran a team and to let a guy a guy, no matter how many rings he has won, run the most storied franchise in the NBA  is somewhat of a crap shoot.

The Lakers have been in this situation in the past, albeit not this bad but they have been bad in the past and the Buss family know they must win and continue to court a Championship caliber team or they lose fans at a rapid pace, T.V. viewership is down 49% this year and unless they make some moves those number will continue to drop. The Lakers don’t really rebuild, they just reload; rebuilding takes time and the fans of the Purple Gold don’t have any patience, nor should they. Reloading is what the Lakers have always done and will continue to do.

The Lakers will have at least the 10th pick in the NBA draft, a draft that is incredibly deep; the Lakers will have deep pockets over the next few years no matter what some think about the Kobe extension. Free Agents will flock to the West Coast because when they get to it, they know the Lakers, The Buss family and Mitch Kupchak know how to win rings. Phil is an amazing coach and fun guy to listen to but I can’t say he will be the dominate force in the front office that he was guiding his players to championship after championship, I wish him all the luck in the world and think watching a Knicks vs. Lakers championship would be the absolute best thing for the NBA. The 2 largest NBA markets battling it out for the top sport would be awesome.

I’ve had so many people ask me what I think the Lakers are going to do, I tell them all the same thing.. with Jim Buss you never know, he may extend D’Antoni, he may fire him and hire a guy coaching Division 2 Basketball, he is truly a wild card. I think that Jeanie Buss and Mitch will have more say in things offseason and that is a real positive. I think Jeanie Buss understands Basketball more than any of her siblings and at some point she will take over full control of the organization.

As for what I would do… Well here go!

I would resign:

Meeks, Farmar, Marshall, Johnson and Bazemore… I could keep them all on the cheap and they have proven to be guys worth keeping, that’s a pretty solid bench to grab from as well. Jordan Hill would be another guy I would like to keep but he may be asking for more than his worth, I would not pay him more than 3 million a year. So let’s say I am able to talk him into I’ll retain him as well.

Cut/Stretch:

Nash would be given the Stretch provision and shown the door.

 

Free Agency:

I don’t think there is a guy out there worth a max contract unless it’s Lebron, as much as I can’t stand him I understand what he brings and he has shown he can play big in big games I think Lebron stays in Miami if he does he ends up in New York playing for the Knicks.

With that being said I would offer near max contracts to:

Lance Stephenson:  has not shown he is a true max contract guy so offer him something close and see if he bites.

Luol Deng: again, he is solid but does he truly deserve a max deal? Not in my eyes, I could spend 16 million of 3 guys and wind up with the productivity and more depth.

The issue facing the Lakers will be finding big men to help in paint so who can fill that role?

Spencer Hawes and Greg Monroe come to mind, Monroe will be looking for a big contract and Hawes doesn’t have star power but Hawes will give you 100% every night.

If Lebron leaves Miami he may start a chain of events causing Bosh to look elsewhere as well and although I wouldn’t give him a max deal I would be hard pressed not try everything in the book to grab him for a tad under then max.

Role players:

Trevor Ariza: he may be looking for big bucks but I think he leaves Washington and given the chance to come back to L.A. he would. I don’t think he really ever wanted to leave in the first place.

Michael Beasley: I’ve said for the past years and I’ll continue to say it… I want Beasley wearing Purple and Gold! I think he has so much untapped talent and to not offer him a deal would be a major mistake.

Steve Blake: He didn’t want to leave and I think he would return for a lot less than he was making, Kobe loves him and the fans love him. He can play the PG or the SG and that helps the bench a ton.

DRAFT:

I think the Lakers will end up the 2nd or 3rd pick in the draft, that’s just a feeling I have and I’m sticking to it. I like Parker and Embid in front of Wiggins and Exum right after Wiggins. With David Stern being gone they could actually land the number spot…boy would that piss the world off. Free agency will dictate who they draft but they cannot pass up my top 4 guys.

 

So what will the roster look like? WAIT… I almost forgot to talk about coaching… this is a big one.

 

I would fire D’Antoni and put together a true coaching staff.

HEAD COACH: Nate McMillen: Nate is a defensive guy and that is something the Lakers truly lack.

Asst Coach: Chuck Person: Offense and shooting are his strong points and Kobe loves him.

Asst Coach: Mark “Mad Dog” Masden: Lakers fans love him and he is just a wealth of Basketball knowledge.

Player Development: Luke Walton: say what you want he knows the fundamentals better than most.

Depth Chart if I had my way:

PG: Farmar, Blake, Marshall

SG: Stephenson, Meeks

SF: Kobe, Johnson

PF: Hill, Kelly

C: Embid, Sacre

Oh and you can’t wait to see what I have planned for the following season, but you’ll have to wait.

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