Magic Johnson said he can’t turn the Lakers around in one day. Well, it appears he already has started. The Lakers have been making moves today. Magic is the new President of Basketball Operations. Not to mention they’ve already brought in Kobe’s agent Rob Pelinka replacing Mitch Kupchak as General Manager. Now they have just traded veteran spark plug Lou Williams for Corey Brewer and a 2017 first round pick with the Houston Rockets.
I don’t know how he did it, but Magic is already working his magic. I love it. I’m still baffled, though. Lou Williams was the perfect piece to trade for the Lakers, huge contributor off the bench. Williams is having a career year for the Lakers averaging 18.7 points and 3.2 assists in just 24.2 minutes a game. Crazy numbers and all coming off the bench! Sweet Lou Williams is what you call instant offense. I’ve always thought of him as a poor mans Jamal Crawford, and that’s more than fine.
The trade makes sense for the Lakers because Lou is already 30 and is only under contract through 2017-18. The Lakers will be improved for sure next year but will no shot be contenders. So trading Lou at his all-time high of his career is the ultimate value slam dunk. Buy low, sell high right? Magic already gets this, not that its very hard, but clearly many GM’s like Vlad Divac don’t. What a joke. The Rockets were the perfect partner to execute the trade as well. Brewer’s role has been diminished this season and is not an offensive threat. However, he is a solid veteran to help the young Lakers and is a good defender. An area they desperately need help in as they are second to last in defensive efficiency at 1.096.
The trade from a personal standpoint makes sense for the Rockets as well. Since Brewer doesn’t play much and the team is an offensive juggernaut they want to add to their strengths. The Rockets are second in scoring and offensive efficiency to…The Golden State Warriors of course. I guess they want to fight fire with fire. I don’t know if this will work, teams who have success against the Warriors are normally ugly teams, not flashy. By ugly I mean tough defensive teams that grind you out and wear you down and slow it down offensively. Teams like the Spurs, Jazz, and Grizzlies. But in a way it makes sense. D’Antoni coached teams are always amazing offensively and terrible on defense, that’s not going to change anytime soon.
Lou Williams gives them a prolific scorer off the bench, as s if they didn’t already have one in Eric Gordon. Those two will be trouble for opposing benches. Gordon contributes 17.2 points off the bench and is revitalizing his career with the Rockets after years of injuries with the Pelicans. The two of them alone combine for 35.9 points per game, that would rank them 15th in team bench scoring alone! Now I’m not saying they can beat the Warriors in a 7 game series. But don’t be surprised if they play one another and steal a couple games. This move also puts them neck and neck with the Spurs in my eyes and makes for an exciting second round match up.
So how did Magic display his magic you may ask? Well, the first round pick is huge for the Lakers, especially being from Lou Williams. How he got a respected veteran plus a first rounder is beyond me. First rounders have high value in the NBA, they don’t just come around for little to nothing. This time they did, though. The Lakers are in straight rebuild mode and need all the picks they can get. If they can get a big name or two to come teach the kids how to win they could be dangerous in a couple years. It’s early but it looks like Magic knows exactly what he’s doing.