Report: ‘Underwhelming’ Lakers whiff on Aldridge, Monroe, probably DJ

It appears highly unlikely that the Lakers are gonna land any of these guys now.

David Richard

The Lakers reportedly are whiffing — badly — in free agency when it comes to the big men on their list.

Its looking more and more likely that the team, which lost a franchise-record 61 games last season, apparently will be unable to lure any of its three main targets — LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Monroe and DeAndre Jordan — per a report by Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.

Why? Mostly, the report claims, it came down to L.A.’s underwhelming presentations to the players.

We heard some of the details about the Lakers’ meeting with Aldridge on Wednesday, and the short version is the Portland star didn’t care for the "basketball part of the presentation" — you know, the part that’s actually pertinent to his job. Oh, and it also had to do with (surprise!) Kobe Bryant:

To be fair, Aldridge apparently will be giving another chance to the Lakers, who reportedly "want to see if they can get it right." But that quote would be a tacit admission that the team screwed the pooch during their first meeting. Oh, and now they’ve reportedly got more competition for Aldridge’s services:

There’s not much in the way of details from Monroe’s Wednesday meeting with L.A., but it must not have gone too great for the Lakers because Monroe reportedly will be heading to the Milwaukee Bucks instead. Yes, Monroe would rather play in Milwaukee than in Los Angeles.

The Lakers also met with Los Angeles Clippers star Jordan late Wednesday, but it’s unclear they ever had much of a shot:

But just for fun, how’d the meeting go? Sadly for the Lakers, the LA Times reports it was pretty much the same story:

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Sympathy for the Lakers, from a Clippers player no less. Jesus, what has the world come to? Why doesn’t anyone want to play for the legendary, 16-time world champion Los Angeles Lakers? 

Well, for starters, they’ve been pretty putrid the past couple of seasons and won just 21 games last year, thanks mainly to an injury to Bryant and a very bad roster. And speaking of Bryant, he’s notoriously prickly and has something of a reputation for driving away other star players, too. (Farewell, Dwight Howard.)

But at least in the case of Aldridge, it seems hard to pin the blame on Kobe:

The LA Times notes that Aldridge apparently just wasn’t too keen on the Pau Gasol comparison. But the Lakers had a good deal of success with a Kobe-Pau attack, so Bryant’s analysis seems fair.

No, ultimately in this case — or least in the cases of Aldridge and Jordan — it seems like the Lakers just failed to piece together a compelling presentation. When it came to Aldridge, the LA Times report claims that the organization focused plenty on "branding opportunities" for the All-Star forward and also underscored the team’s youth, "but Aldridge simply wanted more in-depth basketball talk."

What was the Lakers’ excuse? Per the story:

So they think they’d have had a better shot if they had a better roster? Um, yeah, no kidding. Seems pretty obvious. It’s the second part of that statement that the Lakers may need to be focusing on.

Or we’ll just let the LA Times’ Bresnahan sum up what really sunk the Lakers during free agency: