MacMullan: Neither. The Lakers have won before without LeBron and will win after him, because it’s L.A., Hollywood, Showtime — the perpetually sunny, always desirable NBA destination. LeBron can’t possibly stamp the same imprint as Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal or Kobe Bryant. There simply isn’t time. Cleveland always was, and is, LeBron’s legacy — and his eternal burden.
Pelton: I think more of a plus. We’re far enough removed from their most recent championship that I don’t think the Lakers will be expected to win a championship immediately after adding LeBron. But if he can get them there eventually, he’ll join a long list of Lakers greats.
Herring: I’m not sure yet. If he can win a title, it probably becomes a plus, because he will have done it in a major market that has never seen this sort of drought before. If he doesn’t win one, it probably doesn’t change anything at all, other than make a legion of Cleveland fans upset with him again.
In addition to Velasquez’s trip to the disabled list, the Phillies optioned lefthanded reliever Zac Curtis to Triple A Lehigh Valley. They recalled right-handed reliever Jake Thompson and reinstated reliever Pat Neshek from the 10-day disabled list. Neshek, who was signed by the Phillies during the off-season, has been on the disabled list since Opening Day with a forearm injury.
Nationals: Washington returns home on Monday night to begin a three-game interleague series against the Boston Red Sox. RHP Max Scherzer (10-4, 2.04 ERA) will face former Detroit teammate Rick Porcello in a battle of former Cy Young Award winners.
Phillies: Philadelphia has Monday off, but will begin a brief two-game interleague series at home against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night. Zach Eflin (6-2, 3.02 ERA) will get the start against Baltimore’s Alex Cobb.Russell hits slam, Cubs power back for 10-6 win over Twins