There is an electricity around the Lakers right now that hasn’t been there in years — one filled with hope for the future. There is new management in place on the basketball side with Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka that the fan base trusts. They drafted Lonzo Ball, who showed at Summer League why people think he could be a franchise-changing player. And the team has made moves (with more to come) to have a couple of max salaries slots next summer when a host of elite players will be on the market.
Among the smart Lakers’ moves: signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a one-year, $18 million contract. Caldwell-Pope has great potential to step forward as a valuable “3&D” wing who fits with the Lakers’ young core and gives the team a much-needed defensive boost.
Laker GM Rob Pelinka described signing KCP as a literal gift from God (hat tip Silver Screen and Roll).
“I would venture to guess there’s people in the room that are familiar with the stories in the Book of Genesis. Where there was a time when the Israelites were wandering in the desert and, all of a sudden, bread came down from heaven. That’s kind of what today feels like for us, to have KCP join.”
This is not a road Pelinka wants to travel, and I don’t simply mean comparing signing a young wing to the story of God feeding his hungry people in the desert (or saying a story from Exodus is in Genesis). The last time a player was described as manna from heaven it was Darko Milicic by Timberwolves GM David Kahn, who had just acquired arguably the NBA’s biggest draft bust from the Pistons. He is not the GM model Pelinka wants to follow, and the Lakers hope this signing works out a little better.
It’s summer, so we will just move along. Nothing to see here, it’s all harmless fun. But if the Lakers can land Paul George as a free agent next summer, I can’t wait to see Pelinka’s biblical comparison.