Grading the Lakers’ moves in the Jim Buss era (Spoiler alert: It’s not a passing grade)

Luol Deng
The signing of Luol Deng has not been a high point in recent Lakers history.
(Ron Jenkins / Associated Press)

Grading some of the Lakers’ key moves since Jim Buss took control of basketball operations after his father, Jerry Buss, died in February 2013.


June 27: Drafted Ryan Kelly in the 2nd round (48th pick) of the 2013 NBA draft. Kelly averaged 6.5 points in three seasons with the Lakers. He was waived by Atlanta last month. Grade: D

July 10: Signed Jordan Farmar to a one-year, $1.1-million deal, and he played in 41 games, averaging a little over 10 points. Grade: C

July 11: Signed Nick Young. In four seasons with the team, Young has received almost $17 million and has averaged 13.3 points. Grade: C


July 12: Signed Chris Kaman. He got $3.2 million, they got 39 games from him. Grade: D


Feb. 19: Traded Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks. Bazemore and Brooks finished out the season with the team and either went elsewhere (Bazemore) or is out of the league (Brooks). Grade: D

June 26: Drafted Julius Randle in the 1st round (7th pick) of the 2014 NBA draft. Missed almost all his first season with an injury. Has been more productive than most of the players in his draft class. Grade: B

June 27: Sent cash to the Washington Wizards for Jordan Clarkson. Has been a solid contributor with the team. Grade: B


July 15: Traded Sergei Lishouk to the Houston Rockets for Jeremy Lin and a 2015 1st round draft pick (Larry Nance Jr.). Lin didn’t do much with the Lakers, but Nance is one of the few players on the team who remembers to play defense, so this grade could get better in the future. Grade: C

July 23: Signed Jordan Hill to a multiyear contract. They gave him $16.1 million. He gave them less than 10 points per game and a lot of turnovers. Grade: D

July 23: Signed Ed Davis. Another in a seemingly endless list of players who were signed and left no apparent impact on the team. Grade: D

July 26: Signed Xavier Henry. This is getting monotonous. Sign player, throw him out there for a season or two, cut him loose and he’s out of the league. Grade: D

July 28: Hired Byron Scott as coach. Did as much to damage the progress of young people since Fagin in Oliver Twist. Grade: F

Dec. 28: Claimed Tarik Black on waivers. They are paying him $6 million this season and getting six points a game. Grade: D


June 25: Drafted D’Angelo Russell in the 1st round (2nd pick) of the 2015 NBA draft. Russell has star potential. Grade: B

June 25: Drafted Larry Nance Jr. in the 1st round (27th pick) of the 2015 NBA draft. Grade: B


June 25: Drafted Anthony Brown in the 2nd round (34th pick) of the 2015 NBA draft. Has played 40 games in the NBA since being drafted. Grade: F

July 9: Signed Brandon Bass. At least Bass is now the Clippers’ problem. Grade: D

July 9: Signed Lou Williams. You can’t complain about this one. Grade: B

July 9: Traded a future 2nd-round pick to the Indiana Pacers for Roy Hibbert. Or as fans liked to call him, “Slow Roy.” Grade: F

Sept. 24: Signed Metta World Peace. Have his mentoring skills really been worth $3 million? Grade: D


April 29: Hired Luke Walton as coach. He seemed like the second coming, but things have changed since then. It’s still too soon to really judge him. Grade: C

June 23: Drafted Brandon Ingram in the 1st round (2nd pick) of the 2016 NBA draft. Much too soon to give him a fair grade. Grade: Incomplete.

June 23: Drafted Ivica Zubac in the 2nd round (32nd pick) of the 2016 NBA draft. Grade: Incomplete.


July 7: Signed Luol Deng to a four-year, $72-million deal. So far, one of the worst deals in Lakers history. Grade: F

July 7: Traded Ater Majok to the Chicago Bulls for Jose Calderon, a 2018 2nd round draft pick and a 2019 2nd round draft pick. Majok has played overseas for the last five years. Calderon is just a guy to fill the roster. Grade: C

July 8: Signed Timofey Mozgov to a four-year, $64-million deal. This signing and the Deng deal had to be what put Jeanie Buss over the edge and led to her calling Magic Johnson. Grade: F

Final report card

A’s: 0

B’s: 5

C’s: 5

D’s: 9

F’s 5

Incomplete: 2

Grade-point average: 1.42

Follow Houston Mitchell on Twitter @latimeshouston


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