Clippers Sizzle While Lakers Snore

The NBA off-season dance has been fascinating to watch as Cleveland and San Antonio stand out for their quick and aggressive actions and as the forest of tall tress of big men fall fast and furious, one after another. As far as Los Angeles NBA fans are concerned, the Clippers have been outstanding and innovative, while the Lakers have let incompetency and seeming narcolepsy take over as they have failed miserably to improve. While the

Clippers refused to take no for an answer and astounded the basketball world, the current Lakers’ management has been an embarrassment to the storied franchise and the legacy of Robert Short, Jerry Buss and Jerry West, who had a then magic name to sell that sold itself to star players.

The Lakers went into the draft believing that they needed to take a potential star guard with their first round number two pick, thinking that their bigger needs up front would be fixed with the signing of any one, or two, of the many established
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players who could fill that void. So, they took D’Angelo Russell with the pick, and then have made player presentations that have been reviewed as at best irrelevant and at worse as embarrassing, watching as the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge, Robin Lopez, Greg Monroe and Tyson Chandler find new homes, and as Kevin Love, DeAndre Jordan, Marc Gasol, Brook Lopez, Draymond Green and Tobias Harris re-sign with their prior teams.

In addition, the Lakers have let Jeremy Lin, Ed Davis and Wayne Ellington move on, and still stuck with the ridiculous contract for malcontent former trojan scum and the worst defensive player in the league, nick young, did go out and sign his pending replacement, Lou Williams, who should easily be able to give them a consistent scoring punch off the bench. And they continue to talk of a deal for the slowest player in the NBA, Roy Hibbert, who appears to be by far the best remaining available option.

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At the other end of the spectrum, the Clippers have been feverish in their activity, and in refusing to accept the initial word from Jordan that he was moving to Dallas, have in the eyes of many substantially improved a team that at points last season looked so good but then disappointed horribly once again in the post season. They traded Matt Barnes
and Spencer Hawes for the talented but erratic Lance Stephenson, signed Paul Pierce, and have now, with their own determination and magic, retained Jordan.

The Clippers will at least continue to compete at the top level of the NBA, with the chance to move up and actually win a Western Conference title. Conversely, the Lakers could magically improve on the backs of a healthy Julius Randle, and a rookie sensation in Russell, an improved Jordan Clarkson, a healthy Kobe Bryant, and maybe with Hibbert in the middle, but that is very unlikely. Some of those pieces could be there, but it is foolish to expect Kobe to ever again be more than a shell of his former self, and expecting him to play more than 40-50 games at most next season is more than wishful thinking. If they acquire Hibbert, they could improve on the worst season in franchise history, but without major help up front, in size, strength, and ability, 2015-2016 could well be a repeat of the past two seasons.

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