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Which NBA Rookie will be the most impressive this season?

The Las Vegas Summer league gave us a very first impression of the “new blood” which will be released in the veins of the teams around the league. We’ve already seen some great performances from the top prospects, the players who entered the league at the top spots of the 2014 NBA Draft. So, who will be the most impressive rookie next season? Let’s examine a few of those youngsters.

NOEL Rookie

NOEL


No.1: Nerlens Noel

Now, Noel is not actually a rookie. He was selected at the sixth overall spot of the 2013 draft after lots of rumors and mock drafts placed him at the top of the draft. Now, after missing the entire 2013 – 2014 season due to an injury, Noel has already shown some great signs during the Summer League. He is making his presence felt and he will definitely be one of the top candidates for Rookie of the Year award next season.

No.2: Andrew Wiggins

WIGGINS

WIGGINS

We still don’t know in which team Andrew Wiggins will be playing next season. We assume he will be playing in Cleveland, alongside – or behind – LeBron James, if he doesn’t end up getting traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Kevin Love. What we do know for sure is that Wiggins will be one of the top young players next season, if not the best one. In Las Vegas he has showcased just a few of his skills and of course his insane athleticism. At the moment Wiggins seems to be the most impactful player out of the 2014 rookie class.

No.3: Jabari Parker

PARKER

PARKER

Parker was considered as the most NBA-ready player to enter the NBA this summer. During the Summer League, he didn’t manage to prove that but of course, he put up great numbers. He will definitely have a unique chance to shine in Milwaukee, as the Bucks are in rebuilding mode and they will offer Parker plenty of minutes, most probably a starting job, too. Parker and Wiggins will have an opportunity to steal the show next season, with Joel Embiid sidelined, at least at the first part of the 2014 – 2015 season.

No.4: Dante Exum

EXUM

EXUM

Exum entered the league this summer being one of the biggest mysteries of the 2014 draft class. Although Exum didn’t really make that much of a difference during the Summer League, he will get much playing time with the Utah Jazz. So, we can expect a gradual improvement of his performance through the season and numbers even better than the ones he put up in Las Vegas.

Other prospects – underdogs

It will be a surprise to see the Rookie of the Year award to be handed to a player out of those top four prospects. However, there are some dark horses in this race. One of those is Los Angeles Lakers’ forward Julius Randle. The 6’9” youngster was projected to have a significant role in the Lakers’ rotation next season but the recent additions of Carlos Boozer and Ed Davis will make this a bit more difficult.

Elfrid Payton from the Orlando Magic is another prospect who is causing lots of pairs of eyes pointing towards his direction. He did record some notable performances during the Summer League and he will, too, have a great chance to shine next season in Orlando.

Google Trends for the last 90 days shows Andrew Wiggins leading in internet searches.

Chris M.

What can Boozer bring to the Lakers?

Lakers Tickets for all games

LAKERS

Finally, After several weeks of misery since the 2013 – 2014 season ended, the Los Angeles Lakers can see a positive turnaround in their offseason performance. The Lakers claimed the 32 – year old Carlos Boozer off waivers and he will now join Kobe in LA. Boozer was just recently waived by the Chicago Bulls, who brought in the former Laker Pau Gasol. The former All-Star was in the books for $16.8 million for the Bulls. But what can Lakers fans expect from Boozer next season? Will he manage to fill in for Gasol and even reach a star level?

First of all, Boozer was a starter a few years ago. In fact, when he signed with the Chicago Bulls in the summer of 2010, he was projected to be the next big thing in Chicago. His game did have some limitations but in overall, he was considered as one of the top power forwards in the league.

His performance gradually dipped in Chicago and last season, with no Derrick Rose around, he averaged 13.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 45.6 percent shooting from the floor. Those are no superstar numbers of course and considering the fact that Boozer even lost his main contributor role in Chicago’s frontcourt from Joakim Noah, it becomes obvious that he was a star in decline up to last season. Bulls’ head coach Tom Thibodeau ended up benching Boozer in favor of Taj Gibson, who gave more energy to the team when he stepped foot on the court.

Now, however, in LA, he will have a unique chance to revamp his career. Playing alongside Kobe Bryant and Jeremy Lin, in a team which desperately needs some star power, Boozer will be able to prove that he has some basketball left in his tank. He will instantly take over as a starter for the Lakers and he will most probably see much playing time.

The Los Angeles Lakers now already have three power forwards, Boozer, Ed Davis and the rookie Julius Randle. Jordan Hill was also re-signed and he will definitely eat up some minutes from the other big men. It will be interesting to see how the Lakers will handle the playing time of each player of their front lone, as they will have to balance the minutes of both the younger guys and the veterans.

In overall, Boozer’s addition is a great one for the Lakers. LA didn’t manage to land a superstar like LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony this summer. And with no trade chips to initiate a trade for Kevin Love, the Lakers had to turn their interest into other players and of course, take some risks. That’s what they did when they agreed to acquire Jeremy Lin from the Houston Rockets and that’s what they did now in the case of Boozer. The 32 – year forward will hopefully play better than the previous season and hopefully provide much help to the Lakers next season. The puzzle is gradually taking shape in LA. Chris M.

Gasol Leaves For Greener Pastures

Pau Gasol

GASOL

The domino effect out of LeBron’s Decision 2.0 has already started and affected several teams around the NBA. The Los Angeles Lakers are one of those teams which saw their ambitions getting demolished, as both LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony turned down the possibility of joining forces with Kobe in the City of Angels. After the two superstars took their respective decisions, lots of other significant players were moved. Pau Gasol turned down two consecutive offers from the Lakers and decided to head to the Chicago Bulls. The Lakers took advantage of the Houston Rockets’ urgent need to trade away Jeremy Lin and received him along with his huge contract.

Gasol’s departure in combination with the acquisition of Lin and the fact that the Lakers failed to land a megastar this summer brings LA in a brand new era, a strange one. The Lakers will now have to depend mainly on Kobe Bryant, who will turn 36 before the start of the new season. On top of that, there will be no second star, no second pillar alongside him. With Gasol gone, there will be no pillar to support Kobe on the offensive end for the Lakers, unless Mitch Kupchak manages to make a surprising move this summer.

Pau Gasol Trade

GASOL


The Los Angeles Lakers were aiming to return to a championship contending course in 2014 – 2015. Apparently, this won’t happen. All the Lakers will be able to do now is to try and make the playoffs next season and hope they can chase another superstar, like Kevin Love, next summer. The certain fact is that the window is gradually closing for Kobe and if the Lakers really want to stand a chance to win another championship while he is still active, they will have to act smart and quickly.

This new era will be a very strange one for the Lakers. After years of success LA struggled over the last couple of seasons. It was made clear that Mike D’Antoni’s run and gun system just didn’t fit well with the philosophy of the Lakers, or at least the group of players the Lakers had on board. This new era will also find Kobe in a different situation than the ones he was used to up to now. Kobe had a capable, star big man on his side almost throughout the last decade and that’s how he managed to lead the Lakers to success. At first it was Shaquille O’Neal and then it was Pau Gasol, when the Spaniard center was in his prime. Now, Kobe will have to try and carry the team on his own.

Lakers fans may feel disappointed with the evolution’s of free agency up to now. The major change, the upgrade or the superstar addition everyone in LA expected did not come. Now, the Lakers will have to cook up a new plan for their near future.

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BY: Chris M.

Was the Kobe contract worth it?

Kobe Bryant Lakers

KOBE

Sports fans love to play the “what if” game. The latest “what if” in Los Angeles is what if the Lakers didn’t decide to extend Kobe Bryant for 2 years and $48 million? Or what if the Lakers superstar, like Tim Duncan, decided to assist the Lakers in their quest to attract another high paid superstar and took less money? With the big three in Miami opting out of their contracts and potentially taking less money to play together, like they did four years ago, Kobe Bryant now takes up a third of the Lakers salary cap. The massive contract that Jim Buss and the Lakers organization gave Bryant was based on what he’s accomplished as a Lakers player. As one of the greatest players off all time and a five-time NBA champion Bryant was certainly due loyalty from the Lakers organization. Whether that loyalty owed Bryant the biggest contract in the NBA is another argument. When Bryant signed the contract it was immediately questioned. Now, with the Lakers struggling to attract a top free agent, the massive contract is being questioned even more. With the Lakers unlikely to re-sign Pau Gasol, or sign Carmelo Anthony, the franchise is due for another difficult season. In the midst of another potential tough upcoming season is the fact that Bryant’s contract gives the team less flexibility. Which leads to the question: what if the Lakers didn’t re-sign Bryant?

Kobe Bryant Lakers

KOBE

Before they inked Kobe to the two year deal the Lakers had the option to amnesty their superstar. If the Lakers decided to part ways with Bryant they would have had just one contract on the books for this coming season, Steve Nash. With millions of dollars to spend the Lakers could have been major players for one or two top free agents, and a host of second tier players to fill out the roster. It would have been a grand experiment, but similar to what Pat Riley accomplished in Miami four off-seasons ago. The Lakers mystique could have made them a major player for Lebron and Carmelo, or both. With Julius Randle acquired in the draft, the Lakers had a real opportunity to attract top tier free agents.

Of course it’s an interesting “what if”, but the idea of letting Bryant go would have been an impossible decision to sell to the fan base. Bryant’s loyalty to the organization and incredible accomplishments made the idea of amnesty impossible. He deserves to play his entire career with one franchise, like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

Was Kobes contract worth it

KOBE

While using the amnesty clause on Bryant was a non-starter, signing him to such a massive deal is a questionable decision. Bryant has made a remarkable amount of money in salary and endorsements over his career. The decision to reward Bryant for his career accomplishments and keep him as the highest player in the league may be out of loyalty, but it’s arguably wasn’t necessary at this point in his career.

You can’t fault Bryant for taking the money, but the example of Duncan’s decision to accept a $10 million deal is interesting. In order to allow the San Antonio Spurs to keep their championship roster in tact Duncan took a pay cut, for the good of the team. If Bryant would have taken a similar deal the Lakers would have had the ability to sign two max free agents to team with Bryant.

Is the Kobe contract worth it

KOBE

Heading into next season the Lakers have no idea what Bryant they’ll have back. Since he entered the league at 18 Bryant has a tremendous amount of miles on his legs, not to mention a torn Achilles. If he struggles with injuries like he did last season the Lakers will likely struggle as well. With two years and $48 million on the contract he signed, the Lakers need a healthy Bryant.

Time will tell if the Bryant contract is an albatross. At the very worst it could set the teams re-build back a couple of seasons. If Bryant, who’s known for his incredible work ethic and competitiveness, can return and prove the doubters wrong the contract could turn out to be a positive.

It all depends on what roster the Lakers build around Bryant, starting with a head coach. If Carmelo Anthony decides to jump from New York and join Bryant the massive deal may turn out to be a positive. If not, the Lakers might be in for another tough season.

Kobe

LA LAKERS KOBE BRYANT “What I do, I do”

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Barry's Tickets

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Barry’s Tickets is located just minutes from Staples Center!
1020 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA 90015
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BY: Chris M.

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Can the Heats Failure Help The Lakers?

Spurs

SPURS WIN

The San Antonio Spurs redeemed themselves by beating LeBron James and the Miami Heat after five games in the NBA Finals. Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Gregg Popovich can now celebrate their success while the on the other hand, a period of skepticism and uncertainty begins in Miami. Each of the Big Three holds an option to terminate his contract for next season and on top of that, it was clearly exposed that the Big Three are no longer invincible. This crystal clear loss to the Spurs might open to LeBron’s free agency and the Los Angeles Lakers have to take advantage of the opportunity.

Kobe Bryant LA Lakers

Kobe

The Lakers are looking for a way to not just turn things around and do better next season but also for a way to solidify their future for the years to come. Kobe Bryant is 35 and he will have two or three years more ahead before he starts to seriously considering retirement. The Lakers have three players under contract for the upcoming season, Kobe, the 40 – year old Steve Nash and Robert Sacre. This seems to be the ideal time for Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers to make a strong push for LeBron. And as a matter of fact, they do stand good chances to land him.

Lebron to Lakers

KING JAMES

LeBron now knows that his chances to win more rings in Miami are getting thinner. The Big Three did what they could do together, they reached the NBA Finals in each of the seasons since they were formed and they also won two championships. However, in order for LeBron to continue winning while at the same time being a member of a big organization, living in an environment like Miami, LeBron might have to head elsewhere.

And the Los Angeles Lakers are a very appealing destination.

Of course, the Lakers will have to cook up a very clever plan for their future, one in which LeBron and Kobe can co-exist alongside a capable supporting cast. Mitch Kupchak has not even found the next head coach of the team. And LBJ will have to see a well-designed plan for success before he jumps in.

Could Lebron Come to Lakers

KOBE & LEBRON

For sure the Lakers can offer LeBron a maximum contract. However, a Kobe-LeBron duo will not be enough for the Lakers to win the championship and James will have that in mind when deciding about his next destination. The Lakers will have to carefully study all the possible scenarios and try to ensure that they will be able to not just bring LeBron in LA but ensure long-time success for him and the team
.
Miami’s loss to the Spurs opened the window for the deformation of the Big Three and it instantly increased the Lakers’ chances to land King James. Of course, there will be several other teams willing to lure LeBron this summer. And ultimately, LeBron will be the one to choose which uniform he wants to wear next season. Nevertheless, the Lakers are certainly one of the top destinations for the best basketball player in the world.

You can follow Chris Cabrera on G+ or Twitter for tiny bits of wisdom.

2014 NBA Summer League Preview

Las Vegas NBA Summer League

VEGAS BABY VEGAS

The NBA Las Vegas Summer League, sponsored by Samsung, will kick off on July 11 with 67 games to be played over the 11 day event. All 67 games will be televised live by the NBA Network. The Los Angeles Lakers will participate in the event with their lineup likely featuring whoever they select with the 7th pick in the upcoming NBA draft. Aaron Gordon of Arizona, Indiana’s Noah Vonleh, Kentucky’s Julius Randle and Dante Exum of Australia are potential Lakers targets in the upcoming draft, one of the deepest drafts in years. Other Lakers expected to take part in the summer league are center Robert Sacre, forward Ryan Kelly and guard Kendall Marshall. The Lakers will kick off summer league play with a matchup versus the Toronto Raptors on July 11th, followed by games with the New Orleans Pelicans and Golden State Warriors.

Lakers Tickets for all games

LAKERS

Last season the Raptors featured Jonas Valanciunas, the 2013 Las Vegas Summer League MVP. The Raptors big man’s performance in the summer league was a springboard to a successful 2013-2014 season that included a playoff appearance for the Raptors. The Lakers summer league roster will be announced closer to the event, as will the head coach of the Lakers team. Last season Lakers assistant coach Dan D’Antoni coached the team, but is no longer with the organization after taking the head coaching job with Marshall University. The Lakers have yet to announce a replacement for Mike D’Antoni, the younger brother of Dan, who was let go after the Lakers difficult 2013-2014 season. Several names have been rumored in the Lakers coaching decision, but the franchise has purportedly delayed making a decision until the end of the NBA season when they’ll have a better understanding of the future of Miami Heat star Lebron James. With available cap space the Lakers have the ability to sign James, although most experts feel James heading to the Lakers is extremely unlikely.

Last season the Lakers finished 3-2 in the summer league with Marcus Landry leading the team in scoring. They’ll have a vastly different roster this summer with Robert Sacre likely the only returning player. Following the opening three games the Lakers will then take part in a tournament to determine the winner. Last season the Golden State Warriors defeated the Phoenix Suns in the title game, 91-77 behind 33 points off the bench from Ian Clark who ended up on the Utah Jazz roster this past season. Tickets for the NBA Summer League are on sales now so if your looking for a great getaway with some sun, fun and to get your basketball fix then shoot out to Las Vegas to catch some up close basketball at great prices. Usually you can walk up and just get tickets at the door. Chris M.

Kyle Lowry & Michael Carter-Williams targets for the Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers Tickets

LAKERS

Mitch Kupchak will have a very busy summer. In fact, this will be a summer as busy as it has ever been over the past years for the GM of the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers are not just in seek of their new head coach but they are desperately looking to upgrade their roster, too. Two of the many targets the Los Angeles Lakers have this summer are Kyle Lowry and Michael Carter-Williams. Let’s break down if and how the Lakers could land one of those two point guards.

Lowry to Lakers

LOWRY

The Toronto Raptors did examine the possibility of trading away Lowry early in the season. However, thanks to Lowry’s great performances as the season progressed, the Raptors decided to eventually keep him onboard and push for the playoffs. Lowry recorded his best season up to now in 2013 – 2014 but he will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Toronto Raptors appear to be skeptical about paying him more than the $6 million he earned last year and chances are Lowry demands more.

If that’s the case, the Los Angeles Lakers could enter the mix. As reported, the Raptors are interested in landing the Canadian future Hall of Famer Steve Nash for what will most probably be his last season in the NBA. Although Nash suffered several injuries last season and he was able to appear in just 15 games, the Raptors seem to be a great destination for him to close his career.

Kyle Lowry would be a great fit alongside Kobe Bryant and in fact, he could emerge as a franchise point guard. But so could Michael Carter- Williams. Nonetheless, it will be a little more difficult for the Lakers to land the Rookie of the Year of the past season.

The Lakers hold the No.7 pick in the upcoming draft. The only way in which the Lakers could stand a chance of trading their pick to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for MWC would be if Dante Exum was available at that position. At least that’s how things appear to shape up at the moment.

Exum is an unknown product for the NBA world, since he spent his youth in Australia. He is a 6’6”combo guard who is reportedly the only prospect comparable to the Big Three of the 2014 Draft class, Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins. It’s heavily projected for Exum to get selected right after the Big Three. However, if he falls as low as the seventh spot, the Philadelphia 76ers would be more than just interested to discuss a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers and acquire Exum.

Michael Carter-Williams

WILLIAMS

Again, this is just speculation for the moment. There is no clear indication that the 76ers would even consider trading Michael Carter-Williams away. On the contrary, most of their future plans revolve around keeping him as their cornerstone and building around him. However, Philly seems to be fond of Exum and they could be tempted by the Lakers if LA has the chance to select him.

You can purchase 100% guanateed to be authentic and delivered on time Lakers Tickets at Barry’s Tickets either online our at any of our offices in the Los Angeles Area.

Barry's Tickets Downtown

Barry’s Tickets Luxe Hotel

Barry’s Tickets is located just caddy-corner from the Staples Center
1020 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA 90015
(across from the Staples Center inside the Luxe City Center)
Open 7 days a week, 10am – 9pm, for pickups.
213 749 0057

Chris M.

Where will Kevin Love end up?

Kevin Love

LOVE

The Kevin Love saga is continuing to unfold and in fact, it’s gradually reaching its peak, as we get closer to the free agency period. Up to now, there is no clear indication about which uniform the 25 – year old megastar will wear next season. The only thing we can be almost certain about is that he will not be a part of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Amongst all the teams which have entered the race for Love, the Golden State Warriors seem to have the capability of forming the best offer but also to offer a winning environment to Love. So are they the ultimate front runners? And can they acquire Love much sooner than the beginning of the 2014 – 2015 season?

There are two variables in this equation. One of them is Love’s choice. It will be very essential for the team which will trade for Love to secure a long – term deal with him. In other words, don’t expect any team interesting in landing him to trade away some valuable assets without the assurance that a long – term contract will be signed. So, unless Love wants to play for that particular team, it will be difficult for it to acquire him.

NBA Kevin Love

LOVE

The other variable in this equation is the exchange the Minnesota Timberwolves are looking to get out of this deal. The Wolves want to sell high at this point and they don’t actually care that much if Love will head to a destination where he will be happy or if he will win rings. All they want is to get the maximum out of this deal, whether this means acquiring one or more capable players, receiving draft picks or a combination of the two.

Whilst Love expressed his desire to play in New York and although he has also been flirting with the Los Angeles Lakers since the beginning of the 2013 – 2014 season, those legendary teams don’t have the assets needed offer to the Wolves as an exchange for Love. The Boston Celtics are not in a much better position either. In fact, it’s the Phoenix Suns, the Golden State Warriors and maybe the Houston Rockets which currently have the most to offer.

Kevin Love

LOVE

Phoenix has six first round picks over the next two drafts and Houston could ship significant value to Minnesota while forming its Big Three with Harden, Howard and Love. Nonetheless, the Golden State Warriors seem to be capable to place the best offer on the table. If they form a deal which will include David Lee, Harrison Barnes and a few other assets, leaving Klay Thompson out of the package, not only will the Wolves will find enough value but they will also form a powerhouse in the West. Just imagine how deadly a starting lineup which would include Love, Thompson, Curry and Iguodala would be. The Dubs will instantly become by far the best three – point shooting team in the NBA and on top of that, Love seems to be a perfect match with Andrew Bogut. With Steve Kerr in the house, Golden State is ready for the beginning of a brand new era.

Kevin Love to the Warriors makes much sense, for every side involved in such a trade.

Chris M.

Five things the Lakers should do to make the playoffs next season

Los Angeles Lakers Tickets

LAKERS

At the moment, the Los Angeles Lakers are in the middle of a transitional period. They will enter the 2014 – 2015 campaign with a new head coach and most probably with several new faces in the roster. In fact Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre are the only three players with guaranteed contracts for the upcoming season. So what should the Lakers do in order to at least make it to the postseason in 2014 – 2015? Let’s break down five things Kobe Bryant and the Lakers should do to make the playoffs next season.

1) Kobe should adjust his game

Lakers Tickets Staples Center

LAKERS

The Black Mamba is coming off a series of injuries and although he showed some promising signs during the few games he played last season, he is not getting any younger. In fact, act the age of 36 and following an extended period out of action, Kobe will have to slightly alter his game to help his team win. Kobe will most probably never fully rehab from his injuries and in fact, the Lakers will have to preserve the most valuable piece of their puzzle. Fewer minutes, less drives to the basket and more passes will have to become a habit for Bryant next season. After all, he has proven that he can be a great distributor and that he can alter his game when his team needs him to.

2) Kobe should handle the ball

We all know that Kobe is a deadly scorer. In fact he is one of the best scorers the league has ever seen. However, with Steve Nash turning 41 midway through the next season, Kobe and with the point guard situation still unsolved, Kobe will have to step up and handle the ball more. He will have to set up the team on offense and help the Lakers run their plays. In fact, the Black Mamba did that with success during the 2012 – 2013 season and when almost any of the Lakers’ point guards faced injury issues.

3) Make the best use of their No.7 pick

Whether that means trading it on draft night or finding the right prospect, the Lakers have to make the most out of their seventh pick in the upcoming draft. There will certainly be able to add some talent but if a team is willing to offer them a better fit in exchange for their pick, they should go for it.

4) Find affordable role players

The Lakers are one of the most recognizable sports franchises in the world and they are one of the biggest spenders when it comes to salaries. They were the fourth most expensive team last season and prior to Dwight Howard’s departure they were the most expensive one. However, money doesn’t guarantee more victories. That was made crystal clear last season. What the Lakers should do is try and find affordable role players to surround Kobe and another star they might sign.

5) Pau Gasol’s case

Lakers Paul Gasol at Staples Center

PAU

I am not going to vote pro bringing back Pau Gasol. He will be 34 next season and his performance is declining. Nonetheless, the Lakers might not have many better options at their front line, especially if the Spaniard center takes a pay cut to stay in LA. But even if Gasol decides to get on the move, the Lakers should try and benefit from his departure, by agreeing on a sign and trade with another team. They should get something in return instead of watching their former superstar walking away.

The Lakers tip off the Las Vegas summer league play on July 11th Vs the Raptors, July 13th against the New Orleans Pelicans followed by July 14th Vs the Golden State Warriors at the Cox Arena. You can purchase Lakers Tickets for all Summer League Games as well as all games at the LA Staples Center.

Barry's Tickets Downtown

Barry’s Tickets Luxe Hotel

Barry’s Tickets is located just caddy-corner from the Staples Center
1020 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA 90015
(across from the Staples Center inside the Luxe City Center)
Open 7 days a week, 10am – 9pm, for pickups.
213 749 0057

Chris M.

Who Should The Lakers Draft?

Lakers Tickets for all games

LAKERS

The NBA held their annual draft lottery Tuesday night prior to the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers Eastern Conference Finals game. In another bit of incredible luck the Cleveland Cavaliers won the top overall pick, giving them the option to pick between Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid. The Los Angeles Lakers, coming off one of the worst regular seasons in franchise history, will have the seventh pick in the upcoming draft. The Lakers had a 20% chance of getting the top overall pick, but that didn’t happen and now they’ll have to settle for a mid-lottery pick. The good thing about the 2014 draft is that it’s not an ordinary draft, with a deep pool of talent to pick from. Here’s a look at a few players that may be available when the Lakers pick seventh.

Aaron Gordon

GORDON

Aaron Gordon: The former Arizona Wildcat star has been speculated by many as a potential option for the Lakers. Although he possesses a raw offensive game, Gordon is an absolute physical freak, with a high basketball IQ and a polished defensive game. Gordon was one of the top individual defenders in college basketball this past season, with the lateral quickness to defend out on the court and the leaping ability and size to guard people in the post. He’s a strong rebounder and shot blocker. Gordon is limited offensively, but is one of the rare types of players who can be a major factor in a game on defensive play and rebounding alone. Due to his leaping ability many like to compare Gordon to Blake Griffin, but at this point Gordon’s offensive game has a long way to go to compete with the LA Clippers superstar. During the recent draft combine Gordon led all prospects in the “shuttle run” drill that tests quickness and the ability to change direction. Gordon was the only non-guard to finish in the top ten. Gordon had the top big man vertical leap at the combine, at 39 inches, indicative of his off-the-charts athleticism. Gordon’s vertical leap was the third highest ever for a player his size. Adding to Gordon’s value is the fact he measured at 6’9” in shoes, with a 6’11” wingspan. According to ESPN NBA draft expert Chad Ford, Gordon impressed teams in the interview process. One potential major barrier to drafting Gordon is the rumor that the Celtics, drafting 6th, are enamored with Gordon’s potential.

Noah Vonleh

VONLEH

Noah Vonleh: The former Indiana forward is one of the drafts highest risers. Vonleh had excellent athletic numbers at the combine, with a 37” vertical leap, as well as incredible measurements that includes a 7 foot 4 ½” wingspan and the largest hands in the draft. Vonleh has a solid offensive game for a young player with the potential to be a difference maker offensively much faster than Gordon. Vonleh had a solid freshman year but was lost in the shuffle on an under-achieving Indiana team. He didn’t receive nearly as much attention as some of the more hyped players in the draft, like Julius Randle of Kentucky. Depending on how the draft unfolds the Lakers may have an opportunity to draft Vonleh, giving them a talented young power forward. The other big question is whether or not the chance to sign or trade for Kevin Love will dictate who they take in the draft. Minnesota ended up with the 13th pick in the draft, a bit too late to select an impact player. The Timberwolves could be potentially interested in moving love to a team like the Lakers if they can get a player like Vonleh, Gordon or Julius Randle back to replace Love.

Julius Randle

RANDLE

Julius Randle: The much ballyhooed Kentucky forward had a solid freshman year, but has fallen a bit in the draft projections behind Wiggins, Parker and Embiid. Randle has good size and an NBA ready frame. He had strong athletic numbers at the combine, albeit slightly below that of Gordon and Vonleh. Randle has a much more refined offensive game compared to Gordon, but is not nearly the defender of the former Arizona star. If the Lakers are looking for a go-to power forward that can score in the paint, Randle is their guy. Vonleh probably has more upside due to his ability to shoot from the perimeter and room to grow as a player. Like Vonleh and Gordon, Randle would be an interesting piece to move in a trade to the Timberwolves for Kevin Love, giving Minnesota an instant replacement for their superstar.

Marcus Smart

SMART

Marcus Smart: Smart is an interesting player. If he had come out a year ago he was a definite high lottery pick. Smart came back and had an up and down season including a high profile dispute with a fan that got home suspended this past season. Smart tested extremely well at the combine athletically, with a huge wingspan, great quickness and a big vertical leap. Smart is an unquestioned talent but he may not be ready to be an instant contributor. Many teams question his maturity, due to his on the court issues.

Zach LaVine

LAVINE

Zach LaVine: The former UCLA guard is one of the big wild cards in the draft. LaVine is a high riser who was a late bloomer in high school before coming to UCLA and putting together impressive stretches during his freshman season. His athletic ability is off the charts, almost Russell Westbrook-like. According to multiple draft experts LaVine looked extremely capable in the Chicago draft combine, handling the ball well and shoot extremely well in drills. From a sheer upside potential LaVine is a potential superstar, albeit extremely raw. Seventh may be a bit early to select the former UCLA Bruins guard, but he just may be worth the gamble.

The seventh pick in the draft isn’t typically seen as an impact spot but this June’s draft is unique. Whether the Lakers are looking for an instant asset or a player who can be used as trade bait they’ll have several interesting options, with multiple players who can contribute immediately.

How To Enter:
1) Mention: @barrystickets
2) Use: #BTSDRAFT
3) Use the phrase: #Lakers should draft (tell us who you think the Lakers should draft. Your choice doesn’t have to be on our list.)
4) Must be following to win

LAKERS THROW WINNER

LAKERS THROW WINNER

ALL FOUR STEPS MUST BE DONE TO QUALIFY! 1) MENTION @BARRYSTICKETS 2) #BTSDRAFT 3) #Lakers should draft
4) Must follow @barrystickets

No Purchase Necessary! Winner must pick up the Lakers Throw at one of our three Barry’s Tickets locations. Winner must be following @barrystickets on twitter.

You can purchase Lakers Tickets for all games at the Staples Center with No Service Fees or Handling Charges. Barry’s Tickets has been serving Los Angeles and Lakers Fans since 1985.

Barry's Tickets Downtown

Barry’s Tickets Luxe Hotel

Barry’s Tickets is located just caddy-corner from the Staples Center
1020 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA 90015
(across from the Staples Center inside the Luxe City Center)
Open 7 days a week, 10am – 9pm, for pickups.
213 749 0057

For a complete list of contest rules click here

Good Luck To All Who Enter Chris M.