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Ball Don't Five: Top 5 most important stories of the NBA

Friday, October 2, 2015 7:32:15 PM America/Los_Angeles

For better or worse, the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers are notable NBA franchises no matter their win-loss records. That status has recently gotten both teams into trouble, with management focusing on maintaining some level of success even when the best logic said a rebuild was in order. Such decisions become more difficult when superstars like Kobe Bryantand Carmelo Anthony are on the payroll, but an unwillingness to be bad arguably held both back for the past few seasons (or, in the Knicks case,a decade or more).

So it's notable that both teams had reasonably sensible offseasons for the first time in what feels like forever. Yes, the Lakers went after LaMarcus Aldridge and added Lou Williams to a backcourt that already features its share of shoot-first-second-and-third scorers, but selecting young point guard D'Angelo Russell with the No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft struck no one as a move that treated Kobe as if he were still capable of bringing the team back to contention by sheer force of will. And although the Knicks picked up vets Robin Lopez and Arron Afflalo to soak up some of their cap space, Phil Jackson's decision to select (and then question) Kristaps Porzingis at No. 4 made it clear that he would not seek a quick fix to the team's many problems.

There is no way to know how long this state of affairs will last, because the Lakers and especially the Knicks have shown little ability to hold to certain plans. For now, though, their somewhat measured approaches stand out against recent history.

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janye