NBA Draft 2019 rumors, news: Lakers leaning toward Darius Garland, DeAndre Hunter; could R.J. Barrett fall? – cleveland.com

NBA Draft 2019 rumors, news: Lakers leaning toward Darius Garland, De\Andre Hunter; could R.J. Barrett fall? - cleveland.com
Whoo Buddy, The Lakers Sound Like A Real Mess
CLEVELAND, Ohio — There is growing speculation that the Los Angeles Lakers, who pick at No.4 and one spot ahead of the Cavaliers, will use that selection on Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland or Virginia forward DeAndre Hunter.

Garland can give them the shooting they desperately need around LeBron James. He is a prospect who only played five games this season because of injury at Vanderbilt, but has drawn comparisons to Porlands Damian Lillard.

Hunter brings versatility on the defensive end, an ability to defend most positions on the court, and led the Cavaliers to the national championship.

Garland left the combine earlier this month early, which drew speculation that he received a promise from a team in the lottery.

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders is the latest to confirm the Garland-Hunter speculation. ESPN draft analyst Fran Fraschilla discussed Garland to Los Angeles on Monday during an appearance on SiriusXM Radio. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Times reported that two teams picking higher than the Bulls made promises to Garland and fellow point guard Coby White.

A Lakers executive said he also suffered panic attacks and had to be prescribed anti-anxiety medication. Every day you go in there and you get this horrible feeling of anxiety, the executive said. In the last year, I cant tell you how many panic attacks Ive had from the s— that has happened there.

The Sporting News Sean Deveney wrote that the New York Knicks will consider Jarrett Culver at No. 3. Deveney added that some scouts and league executives believed Culver could have landed at No. 2, had the Cavs or Atlanta Hawks won that selection.

“There was one time when Kobe, who I worked with for 18 years, was going back to play in Madison Square Garden, and he had just seen ‘The Dark Knight,” Pelinka said. “Obviously, you guys saw that movie, and he’s like, ‘Hey, hook me up with dinner with Heath Ledger, because he got so locked into that role. I want to know how he mentally went there.’ So, he had dinner with Heath, and he talked about how he locks in for a role.

The idea of the Knicks considering him — coupled with the Lakers mentioned possibilities — could stir up the draft.

He wasn’t lying. He went on to recall when Kobe Bryant had just saw “The Dark Knight” and just had to meet with actor Heath Ledger afterwards. The only problem there was that Ledger had already passed on months before the film was released, but somehow, Kobe still met with him, according to Pelinka.

However, Knicks legend Bernard King told The New York Post he wants Barrett in the Big Apple and paired with Kevin Knox.

The latest blunder by him came in a lengthy piece by ESPN where the Worldwide Leader in Sports was in the midst of his introductory press conference with the Lakers in 2017 and declared, “I’m a little bit of a storyteller by nature.”

Hes a tremendous talent with an all-around game, King told The Post. He could put the ball on the floor and has a high basketball IQ. He runs the floor very well and hes a good scorer. Today basketball is positionless. You can have two guys on the floor like Barrett and Kevin.

A week after Magic Johnson appeared on ESPNs “First Take,” describing general manager Rob Pelinka as a backstabber, a report has surfaced from ESPN that paints just about everyone involved in an unflattering manner.

The Clippers are a great run organization from top to bottom. They have Jerry West in the front office and one of the best coaches in the modern NBA in Doc Rivers. They play hard on every possession and despite not boasting the superstar power like some of the other teams in the NBA, the Clippers played great competitive basketball from the start.

Baxter Holmes report describes accounts from current and former team employees that Johnson and Pelinka berated staffers and inspired fear. They also made free-agent acquisitions without consent of the other and were responsible for tampering investigations.

The Los Angeles Clippers emerged as the best team from Los Angeles in the 2018-19 season despite LeBron James playing for the LA Lakers. The Clippers were one of the pleasantly surprising teams of the season. They massively overachieved by reaching the NBA playoffs and then pushing the Golden State Warriors to 6 games.

“We all had the same reaction that the basketball world did, like what the f— are we doing?” a Lakers coach member told ESPN. “Not only are we not getting shooting, but were also getting every basket case left on the market.”

The Mavericks superstar rookie Luka Doncic scored a 28 points triple-double but that was not enough as the Clippers eventually won the match by a scoreline 121-112. Harrell kept on producing huge performances throughout the season and was very crucial to the Clippers success.

LeBron James agent, Rich Paul, also reportedly tried to get coach Luke Walton fired and influence trades. Paul also rode on the team plane. The agent was called “destructive” and a “culture killer” by sources in the report.

They even lost Tobias Harris during a trade deadline deal and still kept on winning. Players like Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell, Danilo Gallinari were superb throughout the season. Shai Alexander had a terrific rookie season.

“Coaches know Rich is trying to get them fired, and players know Rich is trying to get them traded,” one agent told ESPN.

One front-office staffer said Linda Rambis enjoys the “shadow owner” of the Lakers moniker, noting: “She loves it,” and that “she controls and manipulates Jeanie.”  

Lakers Trade Rumors: Players Felt LeBron James Complicit in Anthony Davis Talk

The Lakers could create up to $38.1 million in cap space this offseason, the seventh most in the NBA according to Spotrac.com.

The influence of Linda Rambis within the Los Angeles Lakers  franchise has received more attention in recent months following the departure of Magic Johnson.

Video: How does the NBA view Rob Pelinka? Kobe livid to be tied to drama – Stephen A. | First Take

Ja Morant announced Monday on his Instagram account that he signed a multiyear endorsement deal with Nike.

Linda Rambis is also an ardent support and ally of Rob Pelinka for reasons some staffers dont fully understand.

Morant is expected to be picked No. 2 overall in the draft to Memphis, behind New Orleans and Zion Williamson, who has yet to sign a shoe deal.

Linda Rambis is the wife of Kurt Rambis and she is considered the closest friend and confidant of Jeanie Buss.

Lakers Rumors: Rob Pelinka Said He Wouldnt Trade Larry Nance for Kevin Durant

ESPNs Baxter Holmes has a big piece this morning with a wide remit—to determine what went wrong with the Pelinka/Magic/LeBron Lakers. The short answer is: So much went wrong, and at just about everybodys hands, that its impossible to construct a single narrative from it. The executives were in over their heads. The power-seekers were indulged, not quarantined. The bosses were tyrants. There were too many cooks, all acting independently of each other and making sure they were insulated from any criticisms. Everyone, at seemingly all times, did what they shouldnt have done, and made sure there was no one around to warn them that they shouldnt do it. Its all, frankly, a masterpiece of organizational rot—a well-run franchise couldnt quickly achieve this level of dysfunction if it tried.

As part of an explosive feature that was published on Tuesday, ESPN’s Baxter Holmes spoke with several current and former Lakers staffers about their experiences having Johnson as their boss. From the time Magic was hired in March of 2017, current and ex-team employees say the legend tried to instill fear in those working under him and immediately made it clear that anyone who was not on-board with his style could be replaced. One member of the team’s coaching staff said Johnson pointed at a stack of resumes in his office and said there were “a thousand” people waiting to replace any of his employees. The coach described it as “shocking.”

The Lakers, if it doesnt become clear after reading Holmess story, or after, uh, paying attention to the entire last season, are not a well-run franchise. At well-run franchises, things like this dont tend to happen:

Another Lakers staffer said Johnson used “intimidation and bullying as a way of showing authority.” Two employees said Johnson’s commitment to ruling with an iron fist resulted in them needing a prescription for anti-anxiety medication. One longtime female staffer said she was called into an office with Johnson and Lakers GM Rob Pelinka in 2017 after making a mistake, which involved a mix-up with arranging a car service for a draft prospect to the team’s facility. Johnson allegedly berated her.

In November, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Maverick Carter, LeBrons longtime business partner, met for lunch. James agent, Rich Paul, was seated at a nearby table, and at one point, approached Silver to complain about Walton, multiple sources familiar with the interaction told ESPN. Paul said he didnt believe Walton was the right coach for the Lakers. Silver shrugged off the remark and asked whom Paul thought would be the right coach. Paul suggested Tyronn Lue.

Multiple people who witnessed the exchange told Baxter that Johnson made it clear she would be fired if she had one more slip-up. She began to cry, and she said she later suffered increased panic attacks and began taking medication and going to therapy to address the anxiety issue. She quit working for the team on Dec. 18, 2017 after more than 20 years on the job.

Paul was also letting it be known through back-channel conversations, including those with reporters, that he wasnt on board with Walton. Paul criticized how Walton allotted minutes to players and his inconsistent lineups, which were partly the result of injuries and suspensions. Members of the Lakers coaching staff became aware of those conversations and wondered whether Johnsons heated meeting with Walton was influenced by Paul.

Oh hell yeah. Thats LeBrons agent complaining to the commissioner of the NBA that he doesnt like LeBrons coach.

A source revealed to Holmes that Johnson berated a longtime female staffer in 2017 for a mistake in making travel arrangements for a top draft prospect to visit the teams facilities. According to multiple sources, Johnson threatened to fire the staffer if she made one more error. 

This, more than anything else—more than Pelinkas obliviousness, or Magics bullying, or the weird, possibly incompetent Buss-Rambis bloc at the top—appears to be the through-line for so much of the Lakers misery. That the front office was so desperate to sign LeBron and to keep him happy that its afforded him and his people unprecedented power in the organization, to the alienation of just about everyone else.

“If you questioned him on anything, his response was always a threatening tone,” a Lakers front office member said of Johnson to ESPNs Baxter Holmes in a report Tuesday. “He used intimidation and bullying as a way of showing authority.”

Holmes stacks up the examples. How, the previous season, the Lakers let Kentavious Caldwell-Pope play in games while on a work-release program from prison, because, its implied, hes a Rich Paul client and they wanted Paul happy in order to land LeBron. How the Lakers hired a bunch of LeBrons friends to organizational jobs, including those of trainer, personal security officer, and something called executive administrator, player program & logistics. How Rich Paul was allowed to fly on the teams charter flight.

Twitter LogoCopy Link IconLos Angeles LakersReport: Magic Johnson 'Used Intimidation and Bullying,' Berated Female StafferKyle Newport@@KyleNewportTwitter LogoFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2019 CommentsComment Bubble Icon

While this may have kept LeBron happy, it reportedly played havoc with the rest of the team. It was an open secret that the entire roster was trade bait in the Lakers ultimately thwarted attempts to obtain Anthony Davis. Amid the rumors, players did not take kindly to the favoritism shown to LeBron and his agent.

Given those perceptions, one former Lakers player described Pauls presence on the team charter as a culture killer.

Video: LeBron is not going to panic as long as hes healthy – Jalen Rose | Get Up! | Get Up!

Coaches know Rich is trying to get them fired, and players know Rich is trying to get them traded, said one agent with ties to the Lakers, who called Pauls presence on the plane destructive.

The fallout may not end even when the A.D. derby does. ESPN reports that rival agents are wary of letting their clients sign with the Lakers for fear that Paul, with the access he has on the Lakers, will poach them away and sign them to his agency.

The defense, such as it is, for all of this is that its not new, that LeBron and his people were afforded similar preferential treatment in previous career stops. Therein lies the risk the Lakers took, and which appears to have backfired on them. It was all well and good to let LeBron functionally run a team when he was healthy and the best player in the world—thats a trade-off most front offices make happily. But hes 34 years old now, and surrounded by a flawed roster, and theres not really much evidence that the folks nominally in charge really know what theyre doing. Winning may cure all ills, but the Lakers arent winning, and they have an awful lot of ills.

Following an earlier airing of dirty laundry and an unabashed diss of Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson seems to have some closet skeletons of his own.

This Is The Most Entertaining The Lakers Have Been In YearsMagic Johnson Visits First Take, Talks A Whole Bunch Of Shit About Lakers GM Rob PelinkaLakers Hire Backup Head Coach In Case LeBron Doesn't Like The Main GuyAbout the authorBarry PetcheskyBarry PetcheskyDeputy editor | Deadspin


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