5 Potential Free-Agent Small Forwards for Los Angeles Lakers to Pursue in 2015

By Howard Ruben, Featured Columnist

Apr 12, 2015

The Los Angeles Lakers have a player shopping list almost as long as their worst losing streak of the season, a nine-game slide in January that fell just one game short of the team record. In what has become a record-setting campaign of futility, the 21-58 Lakers have just three games left and should finish with the NBA's fourth-worst record.  So, while the Lakers currently have an 83 percent chance (per L.A. Times) of keeping their protected top-five lottery pick in the June NBA draft, they have a 100 percent chance of having enough money to spend on free agents in July. With about $25 million to shop for talent upgrades, the Lakers most definitely will be in the market for a small forward. It's just one need of many.


           Once a writer, always a writer

Howard Ruben was a contributing editor for Bleacher Report, a Turner Sports media website with more than 16 million dedicated monthly viewers. All articles were originally published on Bleacher Report. His stories generated over 2 million reads. Howard's writing also appears regularly on LinkedIn and other outlets.

Howard Ruben Public Relations

          a communications agency created by journalists


Toughest Decisions the LA Lakers Need to Make

By Howard Ruben, Featured Columnist

Mar 29, 2015

The Los Angeles Lakers have nowhere to go but up. Or so it seems.
Spiraling toward another record-busting season of losses, the 19-52 Lakers face tough decisions at almost every level of the organization, though primarily on the court.
In obvious rebuilding mode, the Lakers are taking a hard look at which players they'll keep when the season ends in a couple of weeks. There are talented pieces on this team who, with the addition of several top-level free agents and draft picks, stand ready to elevate L.A. back to respectability.
The Lakers could have as many as four picks, two in each round, with the remote possibility of getting the No. 1 pick in the lottery. Most likely they will pick in the fourth or fifth position.
Who should the Lakers draft: the best player available or the one who fits a need?READ MORE

Who Should Los Angeles Lakers Pair with Julius Randle in the 2015 NBA Draft?

By Howard Ruben, Featured Columnist
Apr 5, 2015

Assuming the Los Angeles Lakers keep their top-five draft pick this June, the decision on whom to select may come down to availability. Although no one is a sure thing in the NBA, there are at least five top-tier college players who could step in immediately and be a nice complementary piece to last year’s first-round lottery pick, forward Julius Randle. READ  MORE

What Position Should Los Angeles Lakers Target in 2015 NBA Draft?

By Howard Ruben, Featured Columnist

Feb 21, 2015

The Los Angeles Lakers have traditionally built championship teams around two or three significantly superior athletes, filling in with strong role players and a solid bench.

And while the franchise still views itself as an ideal landing spot for top free agents, the Lakers have come around to understanding that in order to build the next generation of contenders, it must look to the June 25 NBA draft as well.

As it plays out the string of what may be its worst season ever, the 13-41 Lakers are counting on a solid draft to help jump-start the long road back to respectability. Much of where they draft and who they select will depend on their final record and how the ping-pong balls bounce at the May 19 draft lottery.As much as L.A. may have wanted to acquire point guard Goran Dragic (per ESPN's Marc Stein) from the Phoenix Suns, they didn’t feel it was worth giving up a potential top lottery pick for a player who will be a free agent this summer and could still end up signing with the team in the offseason

Predicting Which Los Angeles Lakers Will Be Traded Before the 2015 NBA Deadline

By Howard Ruben , Featured Columnist

Feb 7, 2015
As the Los Angeles Lakers continue their long, slow slide into basketball abyss, the players have shifted their focus from winning games to competing among themselves for a job next season. General manager Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers brass certainly have been seeking to trade some of that talent as a way to upgrade the roster immediately or gain draft picks to build on an ever-changing foundation for the future.
The Lakers have few legitimate assets as the trade deadline looms on February 19, but they nonetheless should explore all options to move players who may bring them coveted draft picks or younger, athletic talent with potential. READ MORE

Los Angeles Lakers Have Obvious Choice at No. 2 Pick in the 2015 NBA Draft

By Howard Ruben, Featured Columnist

June 20, 2015

Forget analytics for just a minute and think about intangibles. The Los Angeles Lakers have an obvious choice in Thursday’s NBA draft with the second overall pick, and it shouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what that is.

Here's my advice to Lakers management: Don’t mess it up. Keep the pick and just think big. Because this year, at this time, in this draft, big is better.

The 2015 NBA draft will take place June 25 in Brooklyn, New York, at the Barclays Center starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Take one look at the history of Lakers championship teams: What do they all have in common? A dominant big man in the middle surrounded by a couple of supporting stars and strong role players. From George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul -Jabbar to Shaquille O'Neal, Andrew Bynum and hybrid center/forward Pau Gasol, the Lakers have prospered when anchored by a big man in the paint.

Read more

Jordan Clarkson's Emergence Means Lakers Should Avoid Rondo

By Howard Ruben, Featured Columnist

May 2, 2015

Without question, the best thing that happened to the Los Angeles Lakers during an otherwise dismal, injury-riddled campaign in 2014-15 was the emergence of Jordan Clarkson as a legitimate combo guard with star potential. The former Missouri Tiger showed poise and command of his position almost immediately from the time he became a starter in late January.
Which would make the thought of going after former Dallas Maverick and Boston Celtic point guard Rajon Rondo in free agency a misguided, utterly ridiculous notion.
READ MORE                             photo   by Russ Isabella, USA Today