The Lakers are going into their own version of operation shutdown, telling healthy vets Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov, they can effectively have the rest of the season off.
And yes, these were the huge free agent acquisitions that were supposed to bring the Lakers back from the dead. Two dudes who signed for a combined $136 million over four seasons. Of course, that’s only because they couldn’t find anyone else how mattered to take their jack so they gave it to them.
And now, despite their being healthy, they’re shutting down. And they’re doing it ensure that they go into the tank to retain that top three protected pick they need so badly. Errrrrr!! Make sure they’re able to get their young players as much playing time as they can over the last 15 games.
So they’re stacking millions for these guys not to play. And it’s the right thing to do.
This isn’t exactly Steve Kerr benching Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala. Not exactly the cheating the fans after threw down huge dough to see those guys. Hell, if this isn’t reported as an actual story, I don’t think Laker fan would even know if Mozgov or Deng were still on the team. And I know for a fact, no Laker fan, even ticket buying Laker fan is going to complain about those two not playing if it ensures they keep their spot in the lottery. No Laker fan anywhere is picking Mozgov and Deng over that pick.
But if you’re not a cynic, and you want give the Lakers the benefit of the doubt and say this isn’t about tanking; that it really is about seeing what they have in their young players. Fine. Whatever works for you. I’ll play along.
They’re just focusing on their young players the rest of the way. And it might just increase their chances of keeping that pick. In other words, this lose-lose strategy is a win-win for the Lakers.
No matter how you look at it, it’s the right thing to do. They don’t want to win. And they want to get a look at their younger players. And more importantly, they don’t want to win. Even more hilarious is that when they asked Mozgov and Deng how they felt about being shut down, they said they were good with it! Why the hell wouldn’t they be? Get paid millions to not work. Sign me the hell up. Good work if you can get it.
I don’t think the ROI on these two cats is very good. Then again, maybe I am jumping the gun. Mitch Kupchak, the guy who brought them in had told the L.A. Times previously, it could take “five or six years” to determine whether or not signing Mozgov and Deng was a success. He continued, “This is not something that’s evaluated in a half season.” Actually, that’s exactly what it is. They knew within half season that they would have been better off lighting their money on fire than giving it to Mozgov and Deng, so you’re wrong about that Mitch. Which is one of many reasons why Jeannie whacked both you and your winger, Jim Buss.