Latest posts by Colton Jones (see all)
- Lakers deal LeBron for 76ers’ Simmons? It’s out there - May 18, 2019
- Butler: ‘I will get a max contract anywhere I choose to go’ - May 18, 2019
- If Kawhi bolts Raptors, Lakers could pursue Lowry - May 18, 2019
While the supporting cast of LeBron James has withered on the vine as this season has progressed, a report states the team’s coaching staff requested that Magic Johnson retain former Lakers Julius Randle and Brook Lopez last summer.
Johnson, the Lakers’ president of basketball operations, ignored the wants of Luke Walton and his staff, instead opting to bring in journeymen Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee and Michael Beasley.
“While (owner Jeanie) Buss has been an ardent backer of Walton, she has also empowered Johnson, who has been less resolute in his support. His efforts have all worked against his coach rather than with him.
“After delivering James in July, Johnson ignored the pleas of the coaching staff that he retain Brook Lopez and Julius Randle. Instead, he signed controversial and limited journeymen JaVale McGee, Michael Beasley and Lance Stephenson.”
While McGee (11.1 points, 6.5 rebounds) has been decent, Stephenson (7.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.8 blocks) has made limited contributions for the 30-36 Lakers and Beasley has been traded, Randle and Lopez are thriving.
Randle is averaging 20 points a game for the New Orleans Pelicans and Lopez is shooting 37 percent from beyond the 3-point arc for the NBA’s best team, the Milwaukee Bucks.