Warriors

Will Lakers make run at Warriors' Bob Myers with Magic Johnson gone?

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Will Lakers make run at Warriors' Bob Myers with Magic Johnson gone?

The Los Angeles Lakers need a direction and a leader. Not on the court, but off it.

After president of basketball operations Magic Johnson abruptly stepped down Tuesday prior to the Lakers' season finale against the Trail Blazers, the Lakers and LeBron James are left with an even more uncertain summer than they were facing before Johnson's impromptu press conference. 

Who will Jeanie Buss hire to replace Johnson and lead the Lakers into the future? Will general manager Rob Pelinka and head coach Luke Walton survive this shakeup? Can the Lakers still attract a marquee free agent to pair with James after the amount of dysfunction that enveloped the organization for the better part of a decade?

First, Buss must find Johnson's successor, and her first call, in ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski's opinion, should go to someone who resides just up the coastline: Bob Myers.

"She needs to start treating the Lakers as what they are: a big-market, destination organization, not just for players but for management," Wojnarowski said on "SportsCenter." "And the Lakers have to go out and pursue the biggest, best executives in the league and find out who might be interested in running the Lakers. Bob Myers in Golden State, starting there. That's really the first call the Lakers need to make. This is still the preeminent attractive job in the league despite all the difficulty with the Buss ownership group."

Myers certainly should be the Lakers' first target.

The Warriors president of basketball operations helped build one of the best dynasties in NBA history.

After being named general manager in 2012, Myers had a strong draft in which he selected Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green, putting the finishing touches on what would be a championship core.  Myers won NBA Executive of the Year three years later after signing Klay Thompson to a contract extension and refusing to trade him the previous offseason for Kevin Love. He once again was named Executive of the Year in 2017 after signing Kevin Durant the previous offseason.

Myers has shown he's one of the brightest front-office minds in the NBA.

Is there a chance he could leave the Warriors for the glitz and glamor of the Lakers? It's impossible to tell. But after seeing his team win three titles and possibly a fourth this season, Myers could view the ruins of the Lakers as a new challenge for him to take on.

L.A. has James, a young core, cap space and the Lakers' brand, so never say never.

[RELATED: Why Magic was never cut out to run Lakers, challenge Warriors]

Of course, after the absolute circus that has gone on at Staples Center this season, Myers might choose to keep piloting the Death Star in the Bay Area instead. 

One thing is certain: the Lakers have a lot of work ahead of them, both when it comes to building their team and repairing their image. They have almost unlimited resources to woo one of the NBA's best executives to turn around the ship, but they must start treating themselves like the marquee franchise they are.

If they want to truly return to prominence, all they have to do is copy the blueprint of the Warriors. Or, just poach the guy who helped create it.

Andrew Bogut explains how becoming father changed his life perspective

Andrew Bogut explains how becoming father changed his life perspective

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Wednesday night at 6, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

Andrew Bogut and his wife have two kids. The oldest is about 2 1/2 years old, and the youngest is about 9 months old.

That means the big man wasn't a father during his first run with the Warriors, which ended in July 2016 when he was traded to Dallas.

“Having two kids totally changed his life,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr told Ethan Strauss of The Athletic. “He’s no longer a cynic. He’s just as smart and wise and fun.

"He’s always been a really good dude.”

Bogut agrees that being a father has changed his outlook on life.

“If you do lose or play bad, you get to go home to two kids who don’t give a s--t about it, so it’s a pretty cool thing," Bogut explained to The Athletic. "You can get home from whatever you’re doing, and when you’ve got two kids and one of them s--ts themselves, and you’ve got to change the diaper, you kind of forget about all the bad things you’re going through.”

Speaking as somebody who became a father three months ago, this is absolutely correct.

Bogut -- who started five games during the regular season -- jumped center in Games 3 and 4 of the NBA playoff series against the Clippers in place of the injured DeMarcus Cousins:
Game 3 = eight points, 14 rebounds, five assists, steal, block
Game 4 = eight points, 10 rebounds, four assists

He's helping on the court and in the locker room, where he's respected by all.

[RELATEDBogut gives interesting response to Embiid's 3-1 Dubs joke]

“He’s still an a--hole, that ain't changed,” Kevon Looney told The Athletic, while smiling. “But he was always nice to his teammates, and he’s great to me. I say he’s probably the smartest, one of the smartest basketball players I ever played with.

"Him and Andre [Iguodala] and Draymond [Green], IQ level is crazy.”

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Rockets GM Daryl Morey agrees facing Warriors in semis could be better

Rockets GM Daryl Morey agrees facing Warriors in semis could be better

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Wednesday night at 6, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

On the last day of the NBA's regular season, the following two things happened:
1) The Blazers -- who rested their top guys and only played six players -- erased a 28-point deficit and beat the Kings
2) The Nuggets -- who were down at home by 11 points with a little over three minutes left -- stormed back and beat the Wolves

As a result, Denver finished with the No. 2 seed and Portland with the No. 3 seed.

The main takeaway? The Rockets entered the playoffs at No. 4 seed, which meant a potential showdown with the Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals. It became impossible for there to be a rematch between Golden State and Houston in the West Finals.

Rockets GM Daryl Morey was recently a guest on The Bill Simmons Podcast and he was asked if potentially facing the Warriors one round earlier could actually be beneficial.

"It's very hard to know. We can't control it. To be frank, we don't spend a lot of time on it but we have talked about it internally," Morey said. "It could work in our favor but it's very hard to know.

"As much as we could get injured, so could they. All I know is that we pretty much knew we were gonna have to beat them, so does the order really matter? Probably not. It would have been nice to get homecourt like last year.

"I think that could be a big factor -- last year at Oracle, their fans are great -- I do think not having homecourt is a factor. I do think we're a better team going into the series. Maybe our odds are similar to last year.

"We do feel very strongly we have a real shot at it. But obviously, they're the champs three of the last four years for a reason."

Simmons followed up by saying: "I was looking at it more like from a health standpoint. The longer the playoffs go, and especially, you know Chris (Paul) has battled nagging injuries his entire career -- you just know that if you can get through this Utah series..."

"We are slightly older than them, so yeah it could work in our favor, yeah," Morey said.

[RELATEDBogut gives interesting response to Embiid's 3-1 Dubs joke]

The health variable is a very fair point. The Rockets currently are up three-games-to-none on the Jazz in their first-round series. And if they complete the sweep in Utah on Monday night, they will get a solid chunk of time to rest before a potential series against the Dubs starts this weekend (assuming the Warriors beat the Clippers in Game 5 on Wednesday).

The rematch seems inevitable at this point and the basketball world deserves both teams to be fully healthy.

Make it happen, Basketball Gods.

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