Monday Morning Coffee

July 8, 2024

You people need to stop freaking out about the Lakers. Let’s be clear. The Lakers can’t sign any free agents because they don’t currently have money available under the new CBA, and they don’t have roster spots. The only thing they can do is make a trade. However, there’s nobody out there available that significantly improves this team. What’s hilarious though is every time a player like Klay Thompson, DeMar Derozan, or some other useless player signs with a team, you guys freak out. Even if the Lakers had the money, there was never going to be a player available this summer that made the them significantly better in this offseason. For all the crap Rob Pelinka is getting from you people, sometimes the best moves are the ones you don’t make. Trading D-Lo, Rui, or Vando had better net you a starter or two that is all-star level. That’s not gonna happen. Even if it’s Jerami Grant or Lauri Markkanen, the cost of what the Lakers would give up wouldn’t make them better. That’s not to say the Lakers won’t be better next season. Simply by having a healthy Vando and Gabe Vincent, and playing Max Christie and Rui more minutes, along with halfway competent coaching, and the Lakers could easily be a 50+ win team in the West. You saw it last year just by getting Rui back in the lineup regularly. It can only get better with Vando, Max, and Gabe. This team didn’t just forget how to play basketball after making it to the West Finals. Not doing much is the best move they could have made, so stop calling it the worst summer you’ve seen, because there has been much worse.

Meanwhile, it’s clear that the Clippers have been working to replace Paul George in the aggregate. Kris Dunn, Derrick Jones Jr, Nic Batum, and Mo Bamba were all signed by the Clips, which is a decent recovery. None of them by any means are all-stars, but they do all bring some athleticism, and keep the Clips competitive in the West. I did think that by now Russell Westbrook would be traded to another team like the Nuggets. However, somebody in their front office probably slapped General Manager Calvin Booth in the head, and showed him tape of Russ from the last few years. Ultimately though, it really is about the health of Kawhi Leonard. Will he be available when it actually matters? If I’m the Clippers, I don’t love that the guy is playing in the Olympics. The guy can never be available in the playoffs, wasn’t available when we last saw the Clippers play, and now he’s suddenly ok for the Olympic team? That can’t sit very well with them. Even if he’s healthy, his knees clearly can only endure so much, so why would they want any of that to be used up on the Olympic team?

The Dodgers had a rough time earlier in the week against the Diamondbacks, but recovered over the weekend against the Brewers to take 2 of 3. Once again, you Dodgers fans need to chill though about this roster. They are a good team, and better than last year. However, it’s baseball and nothing is guaranteed come postseason time, as we’ve seen in many years past. Nothing the Dodgers can do will change that. With that being said, there are things they can do at the deadline, but the idea that they’ll have 2 new outfielders, a new shortstop, a starting pitcher, and stud addition to the bullpen is just madness. Maybe you guys don’t realize the Dodgers are the 2nd best team in the NL despite their problems. They will get a lot of reinforcements back from injury: Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and maybe even Dustin May. That should be enough pitching and at least 2 of those 4 should be trustworthy enough come October, along with Tyler Glasnow, Gavin Stone, and James Paxton. They’ll also get Mookie Betts and Max Muncy back. Of course the Dodgers have been playing about .500 ball for weeks. It’s because they’ve been slammed with injuries, and their pitchers are facing arm fatigue we often see in the dog days of summer. They’ll be fine in a few weeks. If they can get a solid defensive infielder who can hold his own at the plate and an effective addition to the bullpen before August 1st then great. However, if not, they still have reinforcements coming. Also, congrats to Shohei, Mookie, Freddie, Teo, Will, and Tyler for making the All-Star team!

Meanwhile, the Angels came crashing back to earth this past week, losing 6 of their past 7 games. They are back to the 5th worst record in the majors, and 10.5 games out of 1st in the AL West, and 12 games out of the AL Wild card. On the bright side, Tyler Anderson made the all-star team for the AL. It certainly was well deserved. If the Halos are smart though, they will trade him to the highest bidder by the end of the month. Who are we kidding though, the Angels aren’t smart!

Imagine giving your wife $300 to go to the grocery store. Instead of coming home with a bunch groceries, all she brings back are two bottles of Stoli Vodka. That’s it! That’s exactly what Kings GM Rob Blake did last week in free agency. Blake went into free agency with $20 million. He needed one top 6 forward, one bottom 6 forward, and a defenseman. Instead he came out with two bottom six forwards and a defenseman that are limited in talent, questionable health, and overpaid. He could have even spent the money on an upgrade with a goalie, but no. He even had the money to add an elite talent like Steve Stamkos, a two-time Stanley Cup Champion that would have fit perfectly next to Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe on the top line. Funny how the Nashville Predators went into free agency with the same amount of money as the Kings, and came out with 3 elite players, while the Kings were left holding the bag.

The COPA America Tournament has been going on, but unfortunately, the USMNT was eliminated last week by Uruguay. I know I know, this is where many of you want to throw out your outdated takes like “If our best athletes like Tyreek Hill or Lebron James played soccer, we’d have an elite team.” That’s really no longer the case. There’s a lot of young and very talented players in the US player pool. Perhaps more than ever before. There’s 4.5 million kids that play soccer in this country, which is more than many other countries that are considered better than us. So why can’t we break through? The issue now is player development and coaching. Ball skills, or technical skills that our players just don’t have relative to other countries. We’ve made a lot of strides, being ranked 12th in the world, but there’s still a long way to go, and a lot of work to do before the World Cup in 2026.


Finally, House of The Dragon on HBO is getting good! It’s a little hard to wrap my head around the idea that everyone on both sides now has a dragon compared to Game of Thrones. I really wasn’t mentally prepared for anybody of real significance to die in this episode, but it happened with a final dragon duel, which cost Princess Rhaenys her life. Someone really needs to take Aemond Targaryen’s other eye because that kid does nothing but cause trouble on those dragons. This time it wasn’t an accident. I have no idea how you can complain about what you’ve seen so far in 4 episodes. In 3 of the 4 episodes this season, the show has ended with the surprising death of a character, and the other had an incredibly tense moment between Alicent and Rhaenyra. We’re halfway through season 2 already!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *