Warriors

Lakers need more than Anthony Davis to unseat Warriors as West's best

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AP

Lakers need more than Anthony Davis to unseat Warriors as West's best

The Lakers appear, at first glance, to have achieved their goal of marrying two cornerstones to form a powerhouse. Presenting LeBron James with Anthony Davis means they can start printing tickets to the 2020 NBA Finals.

Suddenly, Lakers fans are dancing on LA freeways, confident after the events of Saturday that their team is destined to end at five the Warriors’ streak of consecutive Finals appearances.

Actually, probably not.

Oh, the Warriors will have to be both magical and lucky — which is conceivable, considering their lack of either over the past couple months — to make it six in a row. Their hurdles are higher than ever, and they know it. Some team will to be good enough to unseat them at the top of the Western Conference and maybe bump them out of the playoffs.

Don’t expect that team to be the Lakers. Before handing them 60 wins and a skate to the conference finals, much less a Larry O’Brien Trophy, consider the magic and luck they are going to need.

Wading past the surface layer and taking a closer look at the Lakers uncovers enough conditions and complications to prevent the raging success visualized by general manager Rob Pelinka upon trading one-third of the team’s current rotation and a considerable portion of its future to New Orleans to add Davis. The Lakers lost Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram, as well as three first-round picks, including the No. 4 overall in next week’s draft.

While the Pelicans will have quality young players for the future, the Lakers’ moves are being dictated by the LeBron timetable.

LeBron turns 35 in December. He leads all active NBA players — including 41-year-old Vince Carter — in career minutes. He missed a career-high 27 games last season, some for “rest,” most due to injuries, particularly a groin strain. He’s not getting better. He’s getting older.

The Lakers will be lucky to get 70 games from James next season, and it will require a measure of magic for LeBron to muster the kind of postseason that meets his standard.

As great as Davis is, and there is no denying that, the one knock on him has been his uncanny ability to get injured. He missed 26 games last season, some due to injuries and some because the Pelicans insisted.

Davis, 26, has played seven seasons, missing at least 14 games in all but two. His career high for games played is 75, achieved in back-to-back seasons (2016-17, 2017-18). He has missed an average of 15.4 games per season. He’ll need luck to stay healthy in 2019-20.

To summarize, the Lakers are building around the oldest wheels in the NBA and the league’s most injury-prone superstar.

LeBron’s championship window is starting to close, and Davis alone is not enough to keep it from shrinking.

Unless the Lakers add a Kyrie Irving or a Kemba Walker — both free agents are rumored to be targets for LA — along with a couple shooters, the best they can expect is to be marginally better than they were before LeBron sustained his season-ending injury last December. They were in fourth place in the Western Conference.

Walker is both fabulous and durable. The 29-year-old point guard also has stated a desire to remain in Charlotte, even at a discount.

Irving dazzles more frequently than Walker but also spends more time out of the lineup. Only once in his eight-year career has he missed fewer than 10 games. He missed 15 last season, 22 the year before.

Both Walker and Irving command massive contracts, and the Lakers have a max slot available.

[RELATED: Teams coming for Warriors' crown]

Other names are being floated, most notably Jimmy Butler, but whomever decides to sign with the Lakers will do so knowing LeBron’s best days are behind him, Davis will spend plenty of time on the sideline and the Lakers are beset with ownership/management problems.

So, let’s not crown them yet. If the Lakers bring in three more quality players, they might have time to compete for a championship. They’d better hurry.

Who Warriors fans think Steph Curry should team up with in 'The Match'

Who Warriors fans think Steph Curry should team up with in 'The Match'

Sunday’s “The Match” featuring Bay Area native Tom Brady, former NFL MVP Peyton Manning and PGA stars Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson seemed to be a smashing success for the sport of golf. Not only was $20 million raised for coronavirus relief in the United States, but sports fans were glued to their televisions to watch golf, something the sport forever has struggled with.

Warriors star Steph Curry tweeted during the event that he wanted to participate in the next iteration of the “The Match.” So we asked, who would Warriors fans like to see Steph team up with the next time this event is organized and got some interesting responses.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

John Daly no doubt would be an interesting partner for Curry, but the two aren’t likely to be a match made in heaven. Daly’s partying and off-the-course exploits were infamous during his days on the tour, something Curry never has gotten wrapped up in.

Another commenter mentioned Jordan Spieth, who is a fellow Under Armour athlete with Curry. These two likely have played together numerous times over the years, and Spieth has been known to provide a good sound byte.

[RELATED: Ranking 10 best duos in NBA history, including two Warriors pairs]

Another name to consider would be Justin Thomas, the No. 4 player in the world. Thomas joined the TNT telecast for Sunday’s event and was a great on-course reporter, including this somewhat-NSFW dig at Charles Barkley.

Thomas and Curry together would provide some incredible laughs.

Whoever it is, having Steph mic’d up for an entire 18 holes should make for some magnificent content.

Ex-Warrior Andrew Bogut not retiring yet but won't re-sign with Sydney

Ex-Warrior Andrew Bogut not retiring yet but won't re-sign with Sydney

Back in mid-April, former Warriors center Andrew Bogut said he would make a decision on his basketball future in May.

With a handful of days left in May, Bogut has made a decision.

Sort of.

The 35-year-old Australian tweeted a statement Sunday and said he won't re-sign with the Sydney Kings of the National Basketball League right now, or any other professional basketball team for that matter.

Bogut made it clear that it wasn't a "retirement note." He said due to the uncertainty surrounding sports because of the global coronavirus pandemic, it was too difficult to make a decision right now.

He also did mention that he hopes to be back on a basketball in the "near future."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Bogut last appeared on an NBA court in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals when the Warriors lost to the Toronto Raptors at Oracle Arena.

Since then, he had been play with Sydney before the pandemic forced all sports leagues to pause their seasons. Bogut was averaging 8.2 points and 8.8 rebounds in 21.5 minutes over 25 games for Sydney.

For now, Bogut will let his body rest and spend time with his family.

[RELATED: Bogut likes two NBA draft prospects]

If the former No. 1 overall pick decides later not to play another professional basketball game, he leaves the sport with a decorated NBA career: Champion, an All-NBA Third Team selection, and an All-Defensive Second Team selection.