Should the Lakers Take Another Look at Lance Stephenson?

Los Angeles Lakers' Lance Stephenson (6) reacts to a missed 3-point shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
(Image/Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press)

Before the whole of Lakers Twitter lynches me for even contemplating the thought of Lance Stephenson returning, (insert meme team gifs here), hear me out, the buyout market seems to be very sparse this year.  

With targets like Darren Collison staying retired, along with Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist signing with other contenders, the buyout market post-trade deadline has not turned out the way the Los Angeles Lakers would have wanted. 

Therefore, this forces the Lakers to look at not so conventional means to try and improve the team. Here stands a potential target that both the Lakers and Frank Vogel know well. Lance Stephenson.

Stephenson is unconventional. He is certainly not the player that he once was in Indiana. But he is certainly better than some options in the buyout market.

The main thing with potential free agent targets this late in the season is the level of trust people within the organisation would potentially have with the signing. Whether that be the front office, the coaching staff, or the players who they would be going to war with for the rest of the regular season and postseason stretch.

Lance Stephenson certainly fits the former as his best years have come under coach Frank Vogel whilst at Indiana. Under Coach Vogel at the Pacers, Stephenson blossomed into a defacto play-maker at the 2-spot on an NBA court.

He was also a hard-nosed defender who usually had the assignment of defending the best play-maker on the opposing teams consistently. He came up against one LeBron James multiple times in the playoffs. Most famously blowing into James’ ear.

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(Image/Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

At this late point in the season, he would certainly have Vogel’s trust from previous years and could also be vital as a secondary playmaker off the bench. There has been a dearth of play-making when James has been on the bench during games, so someone who can get some type of secondary play-making on this Lakers team would be very welcome. 

Now, let’s get into realism. Lance Stephenson has only been a good NBA player whilst playing within the city of Indianapolis. There was something just special for Stephenson wearing the white, yellow and navy blue of the Pacers.

He has never replicated that outside of the Pacers though and there is no real evidence that he could either. He has averaged 26.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists this season in China but we need to be realistic. Playing for the Liaoning Flying Leopards is nowhere near the level of even the G-League, let alone the NBA.  

His 3-point percentage in China is also a major red flag. Shooting 30% in a league where the 3-point line is a lot closer too is not a good sign. He also has not been a good NBA defender since he left the Pacers the 1st time round.

The things that you’d need him to do as an impact player off of the bench, (shoot well, play defense, play-making) he would not be able to do any of those things to a high enough level where it would be worth the Lakers bringing him back in a meaningful role. Even though it may make sense to some within the organization. 

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(Image/ABS CBN Sports)

To conclude, while the Lakers would be right to start looking outside of the box to bring in potential secondary play-makers to help alleviate some of the flaws on the roster, and while he may be better than one of our back-up point guards on the team already, it may not be worth adding him in a meaningful role on the squad. It would be more uncertainty in the secondary play-maker role, and would not be worth the risk. 

When we also look at playoff minutes, LeBron James will be hovering around the 38-40 minute mark. While the secondary play-making in those minutes could be vital, it would be better looking at other potential targets and hoping a certain team based in Manhattan buy out a former Clippers wing, in Maurice Harkless.

While many wouldn’t be totally against the move of bringing Lance Stephenson in. It doesn’t really move the needle at all for the Lakers in either direction.

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Brandon Ingram, Future All-Star?


If there is a positive to spring from the Lakers’ post-All-Star performances, it is Brandon Ingram’s progress. The 21-year-old has stepped up many aspects of his game since the New Year, averaging 19.1 points, 6 rebounds, and 4.1 assists throughout January, and 21.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.1 assists through February.

On January 29th, Ingram recorded a monster 36-point game against the Philadelphia 76ers. He then broke the 30-point barrier again on February 25th and March 1st, with 32-points against the Memphis Grizzlies and 31-points against the Milwaukee Bucks. Between the February 21st and 25th, Ingram dropped three straight 25+ point games, placing him in elite company historically.

Ingram is in amongst an impressive stretch, playing the best basketball of his young career so far. The versatile wing has been a slow starter through his first three seasons in the NBA, usually improving as the season progresses. This campaign has been no different. Entering his third season, he was projected to take a huge step forward in being the number 2 option alongside the recently acquired LeBron James.

However, early on Ingram struggled to adapt to a James-led team, seeing less of the ball. A four-game suspension for his involvement in the Rajon Rondo-Chris Paul fracas didn’t help matters either. When LeBron James fell to injury for 17 games, Ingram and co were given free reigns to the Lakers’ offense. Ever since, and even upon James’ return, Ingram has elevated his game.

He looks much more comfortable on the offensive end, he seems to not be rushing his shot anymore as his form appears more natural. On the season, Ingram has a 49.3% completion rate with shots 5-9 ft from the hoop. With a 57.7% rate from fadeaway jump shots. He is also utilising his length when crashing the boards. In the first three months of the season he was averaging circa 4 rebounds, this has bumped up to 5.9 throughout January/February.

When driving to the rim and attempting fadeaway jumpers, Ingram has been attracting more fouls. This has been at a consistent rate since the end of November. This being said, he is a poor career shooter from the line but has improved as of late, converting 75% in February. Developing the ability to get to the free-throw line and converting (the important part), will be huge for Ingram’s game moving forward.

On the defensive end, Ingram shows heart, he always has done since entering the professional ranks. His long, wiry wing-span makes it difficult for the opposition. Yes, he has difficulties coming off the pick-and-roll, however if he is kept to the wings (which he should be, are you listening Luke Walton?), he has more than enough potential to be a solid two-way player in this league for a long time to come.

Furthermore, Ingram is not one to point fingers, he comes across as being very humble. An extremely important trait to possess. Even having posted huge stat-lines lately, after the recent loss to the Memphis Grizzlies he downplayed his performance, emphasising the importance of winning as a team.

“I don’t think my game matters at all if it’s not a win.”

“Just put it away. Put it away. We have another game on Wednesday. That’s the good thing about NBA basketball: We always have a chance to go out and redeem ourselves the next night (if) we just come in with another sense of urgency on the offensive and defensive end and be better.”


Rounding up, there has been a fair amount of criticism surrounding Brandon Ingram this season. From his productivity in the team alongside LeBron James, to being included in pretty much every trade rumour. Even though his performances have not necessarily resulted in Laker victories, he has improved dramatically in multiple facets of the game.

Let’s remember that Ingram is still only 21-years of age. The Lakers have already moved on two young assets due to impatience, in Julius Randle and
D’Angelo Russell, of whom are balling out with their respective teams, with the latter having become an All-Star this season.

Would Randle and Russell have had such success in Los Angeles? It’s difficult to say. Will the Lakers provide an environment for Ingram to flourish long-term? We’ll have to wait and see with that one too. One thing is for sure, Brandon Ingram is a huge talent that will continue to get better and better. If the Lakers continue his development, the sky is the limit.

By Matt Evans (@mattyyyevans)

Who Is to Blame for the Lakers’ Recent Failure?


When the Los Angeles Lakers acquired LeBron James this past summer through free-agency, Laker fans expected nothing less than the team constructing a deep playoff run. There were flashes of what this team was capable of early on and the season was looking like a success until James was struck down with injury on Christmas Day. Then as we all know, the season deteriorated, fast.

Obviously, it is not just James’ injury being the cause of the team’s dramatic decline down the Western Conference standings. There are many factors that have resulted in the season diminishing at a rapid rate. Below, we take a look at some of these factors:

(Image/USA Today Sports)


LeBron James had previously not missed any more than 13 games in a season, this season he missed a career-high 17 games due to a groin strain picked up in the Christmas Day showdown with the Golden State Warriors. In his absence, the team went 6-11.

In addition, Lonzo Ball being in and out of the lineup has not helped matters either. Whilst there may be questions around Ball’s offensive efficiency, there are no doubts surrounding the defensive impact that he has on the team. Ball has been out since January 19, and since the Lakers have sunk to the fifth worst team defensively in the league (116.6) over the period of 13 games. In that time, the Lakers have just won 4 games.

In addition, JaVale McGee has looked a completely different player (in a bad way) since his return from illness, where he suffered from pneumonia. Josh Hart has been dealing with a knee injury for quite some time now. Usually a reliable 3-point shooter, Hart has been shooting at a rate of 20.8% from beyond the arc since the beginning of January.

Kyle Kuzma has also missed some time, whilst Rajon Rondo, who is seen as a vital component to the roster through leadership, has missed 31 games.

Trade Deadline: 

It appeared to be the worlds worst kept secret that the Lakers were aggressively looking to pursue a trade for Anthony Davis before the February trade deadline. This clearly has had an effect on the young core, of whom we can understand that it may be difficult creating and maintaining momentum/cohesion when there’s the threat that you could be packing your bags imminently.

LeBron James and the Lakers were extremely public in their quest to land Davis, something that is usually not the case throughout the NBA. A recent report from Bleacher Report has included quotes from an unknown NBA executive regarding the topic, stating that James has destroyed the chemistry of the team.

“He killed the (Lakers’) chemistry… He shouldn’t have been so public about it. Even during the All-Star draft, he laughed about (wanting Davis to be his teammate).”

(Image/USA Today Sports)

Front Office:

With the off-season veteran acquisitions of Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley, JaVale McGee, etc, many started questioning why the Lakers front office were not adding shooting around LeBron James. A trait that every successful James team has been built around. Magic Johnson seemed adamant back in July that the front office did not need to add shooting, that that was not the way forward to success with a James-led team.

“Everybody’s talking about the Lakers don’t have shooting. Oh, we have shooting. But we saw all the teams in the playoffs that had shooting; they got beat.”

“Houston had tough guys. Boston had tough guys. So what did I bring in? Tough guys. So that’s how I’m building it. I took a lot from watching Boston play, watching Houston play, then advancing, and they beat all the teams that had all the great shooters.” Magic Johnson, July 2018.

Well, guess what? The team needed shooting after all. Magic and co scrambled around at the February 2019 trade deadline for shooters that the team desperately needed. The Lakers opted for Reggie Bullock, which was a nice pickup, but then traded for Mike Muscala in a package that included Ivica Zubac. This was a move that had many scratching their heads. Especially as Zubac, at just 21-years-old, was having a career-high season in many aspects of his game.

The question remains, why did the front office not prioritise shooting more last summer, instead focusing on adding multiple play-makers. Something that the team did not appear to be in a desperate need of. Especially with the likes of Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram already being on the roster, along with the recent signing of LeBron James.

Obviously signing the best player in the world was a great feat of Magic Johnson and General Manager, Rob Pelinka, however the additions made after have questions marks against them. The decision to pay certain veteran contracts and let Julius Randle walk has question marks, and so on.

(Image/Getty Images)

LeBron James:

The blame cannot be put down to one player individually. Although the passive aggressive sighs and shrugs certainly do not give off a positive vibe to the rest of the roster. Yes, ever since James entered “playoff mode” he has been averaging just short of a triple-double, but his effort is to be desired, especially on the defensive end.

Regardless of the numbers, it appears that James is labouring more and is unable to get to the basket with ease, which is a huge part of his game. James has come to the point where he is a negative player on the defensive end, yet opts to point fingers elsewhere. The video below shows just that.

There is no doubt that as a leader of the team, James is well within his rights to question the team’s commitment. However to completely deflect the blame elsewhere is questionable too, there has to be some self-awareness. His words, especially the ones after the recent loss to the Grizzlies on Monday, will most definitely have a negative impact on the locker room.

“At this point if you are still allowing distractions to affect how the way you play, then this is the wrong franchise to be a part of and you should just come and be like, ‘Listen, I don’t [think this is for me]. I cannot do this,'” – LeBron James, 25th February 2019.

This current Lakers team appears to have no identity or direction at all, due to being constructed with young players who don’t know if they’ll be on the roster come the summer, along with veterans on one-year deals.

In terms of blame, whether it be the front office in Magic Johnson/Rob Pelinka or LeBron James himself, someone needs to hold themselves accountable. The fans would have a lot more respect for that, rather than the blame being deflected elsewhere by certain individuals.

The fans are devastated with how the season is coming to an end, understandably. However, the most devastating part is that there doesn’t appear to be any passion on the court from those associated with the purple and gold. At least go down fighting, look like you care, that’s all we (the fans) ask for.

By Matt Evans (@mattyyyevans)

The Lakers Snatch a Late Victory against City Rivals


Last night’s victory over city rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers, was certainly not one for the faint-hearted. With the Lakers blowing a 14-point fourth-quarter lead, to take victory in overtime, 123-120. We also saw the welcomed return of LeBron James from a 17-game absence, who recorded 24 points, 14 rebounds, 9 assists, in the win.

The first quarter was heavily contested, as expected from two teams fighting for post-season honours. The Lakers were hot from three-point land early on to close out the quarter with a six-point lead. As the match progressed, it became evidently clear that fatigue was kicking in for James, after 5-weeks on the sidelines. Careless turnovers caused a second-quarter slump in which ex-Laker Lou Williams took full advantage, as Lou Williams does. Causing the Clippers to bridge the gap in the scoreline to 54-53 going into the half.

Up step the king. LeBron James grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half. Doing work in the post, we were treated to a few of James’ iconic fade-aways. The Lakers were rampant, tallying up a 14-point lead in what seemed like a certain victory. However, it was not meant to be, Lou Williams (again) and Patrick Beverley provided some key plays down the stretch as the Clippers attempted a late comeback.

(Image/USA Today Sports)

A comeback that was complete when Tobias Harris knocked down a vital three-pointer to tie the scores at 118 and take the game into overtime. Who other than LeBron James started the scoring in the final frame, before Lance Stephenson stamped his authority on the game, driving to the hoop nailing a floater. Lance initiated contact from 7-foot-3 Boban Marjanovic for a three-point play, he completed this from the free-throw line to keep the Lakers ahead 123-118 for the victory.

The Lakers recorded their 27th victory of the season, to go within 1 game of #8 in the Western Conference, of whom the Clippers current occupy. Make them dance Lance (Stephenson) knocked down 5 three-pointers in an impressive shooting night, scoring 20 points. Rajon Rondo scored down 14 points, adding 13 rebounds and 7 assists.

The Clippers had an off-night, shooting just 44% from the field and 32% from three. On the other hand, the Lakers nailed 45% of their field goals and an impressive 42% from beyond the arc. A negative was the 16 turnovers that the Lakers committed, something that we have seen way too much of this season.

LeBron James saw a surprising 40 minutes of action in his return from injury, who stated that he was not feeling particularly great after the game. We will have to keep an eye on this one and hope that his body reacts positively, as the Golden State Warriors await next.

By Kwadwo ‘Kojo’ Larson (@kwadwo_l)

The King Returns

(Image/AP Photo)

Whilst it appeared that the Los Angeles Lakers were not quite ready to declare LeBron James as fit to play, he returned from injury to face city rivals the Clippers last night. Leading the team to a 123-120 win.

Recently coach Luke Walton had opened up regarding James’ recovery and progress in practice. Stating that he was moving well, driving to the paint and shooting jumpers. When the media was granted access after Monday’s practice, James was seen nailing 3-pointers.

James participated in a full-contact scrimmage a couple of days prior, his first since getting injured on Christmas Day. Post-practice Walton said: “He did more.. we did some more up and down contact today, so the day before was half court contact, today we got up and down a little bit, did some short scrimmages. He did that, and we just got a bunch of shots up.”

The Lakers were known to be taking a “day-to-day” approach with James and was listed as out for the recent loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. However, the decision was made for him to feature in the crucial game against the Clippers, a game that was going to prove vital to the current playoff picture.


James surprisingly played 40 minutes, recording a near triple-double of 24 points, 14 rebounds, 9 assists and 1 steal. Shooting 9-22 from the field and 5-7 from the free-throw line, LeBron took over as the game went into overtime, landing a mid-range jumper, a steal, and an assist to push the Lakers to victory.

The 34-year old had never missed more than 13 games in an entire season but missed his 17th consecutive game in the previous game against the 76ers. In that time, the Lakers won just six games and saw a drastic drop in the Western Conference rankings. Seeing themselves fall out of the playoff picture altogether.

Lets keep our fingers crossed that the injury curse has been lifted and the Lakers can stay healthy to mount a serious playoff push. The schedule does get brutal from now on, as five consecutive road games lie ahead. Featuring the Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, and the Philadelphia 76ers.

By Kwadwo ‘Kojo’ Larson (@kwadwo_l)

The Race For Anthony Davis Heats Up Ahead Of Trade Deadline

(Image/USA Today Sports)

Earlier today, the NBA world went into meltdown upon hearing reports that Anthony Davis will not be committing to the New Orleans Pelicans long-term. Whilst it was news that many anticipated would come to light eventually, it was not expected so soon as the summer of 2019 seemed to be the time-frame presumed. Obviously, the Lakers will be near the front of the queue, waiting to pounce on a trade for the Pelicans superstar.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the story, stating that agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports has informed the Pelicans that Davis has no desire to re-sign with the team and has requested a trade.

This will undoubtedly put the majority of the league on notice as they hope to entice the 6’10 power forward out of Kentucky. Whilst it has not been directly indicated, the general consensus is that Davis’ preferred destination may be in Los Angeles. Sharing the same agent as LeBron James adds fuel to this speculation. Although, both pairing up would reach the expectations of challenging at the very top of the NBA, that Davis desires.

The Boston Celtics, who most see as being the biggest threat to the Lakers, would be out of the race until the summer due to league rules prohibiting Davis’ and Kyrie Irving’s contract being on the same roster, as a result of the “Rose Rule”. However, Irving does become a free agent on July 1st, which would allow the Celtics to pursue Davis then. The race is now on for the Lakers to aggressively push a deal through before the February 7th trade deadline.

Marc Stein of The New York Times has reported on the topic of whether the Pelicans would honor Davis’ request as the trade deadline fast approaches. Reporting that agent Rich Paul has said: “They haven’t said much, but we wanted to do the right thing to let them know by the deadline so they could do what’s best for the organization going forward.”

It is being suggested that if the Lakers want Davis, they would have to start the deal with Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Ivica Zubac and a 1st round pick, at the very least. The young core will be on the edge of their seats between now and the deadline. As it is going to take a huge deal including multiple assets to force the Pelicans to part-ways with the 5-time All-Star in a hurry.

By Matt Evans (@mattyyyevans)

The Trade Deadline Beckons. Farewell, Young Core?


When LeBron James decided that the next chapter of his career would be in Los Angeles, Laker fans were ecstatic. The thought of the team being relevant and challenging at the top of the NBA again is what fans have been waiting patiently for.

Well, it has not gone exactly to plan so far. Since James suffered a groin injury against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day, the team have been on the decline, drastically. It is now at the point where the team are flirting with a .500 record and currently find themselves out of the playoff picture. Missing the playoffs would be a disaster, and is a scenario that Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka are keen to avoid.


The lack of three-point shooting within the roster has been concerning and something that the front office have defended on multiple occasions. Stating that they purposely added playmakers over three-point shooters as a way of combating the Golden State Warriors.

“When you think of some of the teams that had great shooting besides Golden State, all those teams really got beat. But then you look at a team like Boston who had, again, multiple ball handlers, guys that can put it down on the ground and get their own shot, they advanced all the way to the Eastern Conference finals.” – Magic Johnson, 13th July 2018.

Now, it is being reported that the Lakers are looking to the trade market to improve the roster, with the deadline fast approaching on February 7th. According to the Athletic’s Bill Oram, two types of trades are being approached.

1) A blockbuster trade that lands a second superstar that makes the Lakers a true threat in the Western Conference this season and beyond.

2) A trade that shores up the current roster, adding a three-point shooter, increasing the chances of saving face and making the playoffs.

Rumours have been swirling over the past week, with it becoming apparent that Magic and Pelinka are prepared to break up the young core to land a superstar right now. Pelicans superstar, Anthony Davis, springs to mind straight away. However, Davis is currently injured and has not shown any desire to leave New Orleans before the summer. Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards could be another option too.

*Update, 28/01/19: Reports suggest that Anthony Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, has notified the Pelicans that Davis does not intend to re-sign long-term. A trade has been requested.

(Image/USA TODAY Sports)

When LeBron James fell to injury, many expected the Lakers’ young core of Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart to step up and prove their worth in James’ absence. It was time for the young core to show that the Lakers are more than just the Ohio-born superstar. In the 15 games without James, the team have won just 5 games. With the toughest stretch of the season approaching, the Lakers are in dire need of saving the season before the record drops below .500.

Bill Oram did continue to report that the Lakers do possess a backup plan if they are unable to land a superstar right now. This appears to be in the pursuit of a three-point shooter on an expiring deal. Options include; Wayne Ellington of the Miami Heat, Terrence Ross of the Orlando Magic, Garrett Temple of the Memphis Grizzlies, and Washington Wizards’ Trevor Ariza.

With the trade deadline less than two weeks away, expect the rumours to continue as the Lakers pursue a trade to improve the roster.

By Matt Evans (@mattyyyevans)

The Current Los Angeles Lakers from an American Perspective

(Image/LA Live)

The basketball world is aware of how passionate fans of the Los Angeles Lakers are. A historically winning franchise, the Lakers have made the playoffs 60 times and won 16 championships since their formation in 1947 in Minneapolis, before moving to Los Angeles in 1960.

As the entertainment capital of the world, it is fitting for the city of angels to host an NBA team as prestigious as the Lakers. With such success, grows a large, passionate fan base. Nowadays the Lakers fan base stretches worldwide and these are fans that are certainly not afraid to let their opinions be known, positive or negative.

With being a UK-based fan club, it is easy to miss the perspective of the fans that live in Los Angeles. With this, I would like to introduce Brandon and Erwin who are from and live in LA. Myself, Brandon and Erwin go way back, from our college days at St John’s University in New York. They are both as passionate as it gets and will provide a great insight into the Lakers’ current situation and their expectations moving forward.


Q: How long have you been supporting the Lakers for, and what is your favourite memory of supporting the team?

Brandon: “I have been supporting the Lakers since 1999 when I was old enough to start somewhat understanding the game more. My favorite moment was definitely the 2010 Championship season in getting revenge on the Boston Celtics.”

Erwin: “I was born a Laker fan as I grew up in LA. As I grew up and started to be able to form my own opinions the Lakers were a top team so there was no other team for me to go with. My favorite memory is after the 2000 or 2001 championship (I don’t remember the exact year), during the parade my uncles, cousins and some friends were looking for a nice spot to watch, and we saw people going through a broken fence to climb a fire escape. We followed and were able to get a great view of the whole parade from up there. That was an experience I will never forget.”

Q: What are your thoughts so far on the 2018/19 Los Angeles Lakers?

Brandon: “I like this team. I was higher on this team being able to compete this year than most predicted. LeBron alone ups your level of competitiveness. With the balance of veterans in Rondo, Lance and Chandler with the young talent I think we actually have one of the deeper teams in the league once it comes to April.”

Erwin: “As a die-hard Laker Fan, over the years I have developed patience. I know we have been spoiled having great teams but no one can be on top forever. With this particular team I have a lot of hope, I mean who wouldn’t with LeBron. Aside from that we have a group of young guys who seem to be hungry and willing to learn, with that comes a lot of growing pains. This is a team that is learning how to win and is in need of a legit number 2 option, and it has shown with LeBron out recently. I do believe though that Kyle Kuzma (Not Ingram) can be that number 2 one day, but we do need to go out and get an established star to pair next to LeBron sooner rather than later so we don’t waste the last few years of his high level play.”

(Image/Sporting News)

Q: Living in LA, what was the general vibe around the city when it was announced that LeBron James was signing for the Lakers?

Brandon: “People were excited! The media hyped up the whole Kobe fans hating LeBron thing and that is somewhat of a thing but not on the scale they make it seem. Being able to see a great brand of basketball had the city with some extra energy.”

Erwin: “It was actually very split which makes no sense to me. I will always be in favor of going out and adding the best player in the world to your roster. But some people were blinded by their hate of his previous move from Cleveland to Miami, which don’t get me wrong I disliked at the time but now he’s a Laker. If you still hate him while he’s on your team then you’re just idiotic.”

Q: Do you think the Lakers can tempt another free-agent to LA, or is the best route to trade for a second star?

Brandon: “I always think if u want someone, you need to go out and get them ASAP. Meaning a trade. If we learned anything, you have to do that (Paul George free agency). You never know how situations change for guys who say they would come as a free agent.”

Erwin: “I do believe the Lakers can land a big name free agent now that we are heading back in the right direction, but I also believe that we shouldn’t assume that we will. If a good deal comes along where we aren’t giving up to much and getting back the number 2 or 1b option that we need, then we need to pull the trigger. But we don’t need to rush into anything either.”

(Image/Getty Images)

Q: What are your expectations moving forward for the Lakers, this season and beyond?

Brandon: “My expectations are the Western Conference Finals. I think it would be a failure if they lose to anyone not named the Warriors. I like our matchups and think that we have the potential come playoff time. For the future, I don’t know. Summer of 2019 is going to give us a clearer view.”

Erwin: “This season to me would be a failure if we don’t make the playoffs. If certain things fall in our favor I can see us making the Conference Finals and by that I mean we would need “Playoff Rondo”, Lance to play like he did during his Pacer days against LeBron and the Heat, McGee to play how he did to start the season, and of course a healthy roster. With this, I believe we’d have a legit shot. However, I’m a realistic fan and know that it’s a process and we can’t expect overnight success, but I do expect at least 1 championship during LeBron’s time here in LA otherwise we can cancel the GOAT talk for LeBron. Our Future is very bright though and even if we don’t win a championship while he is here I can’t deny the fact that LeBron making this move has revived the Lakers franchise and we should see the impact of that in the near future.”

I would like to thank Brandon and Erwin for taking the time to provide us with their thoughts. Make sure you give them a follow on Twitter, over at @KillaBThun_ and @SamboVHS.

By Matt Evans (@mattyyyevans)