Archive for the ‘ Los Angeles Lakers Blog ’ Category

Report: Lakers will keep Robert Sacre

Look, people, Some free agent priorities are higher than others. And you need to remember, it isn’t all about the starters. Good bench guys at a cheap price are important, too. Every good team needs role players. Now, the Lakers aren’t actually a good team right now, but that’s not the point. If you can get an NBA player for under $1 million for the season, and he’s capable of tying his shoes, and he’s tall, then it’s probably a good deal for the dollar.

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog reporting:

lakers to re-sign robert sacre

The Lakers exercised a $981,359 team option to retain center Robert Sacre for the 2015-16 season, according to league source familiar with the situation.

The Lakers did not formally decide until the deadline at midnight on Tuesday. Sacre’s contract now become guaranteed.

Though Sacre averaged only 4.6 points on 41.2 percent shooting and 3.5 rebounds as mostly a backup center, the Lakers still valued him for numerous reasons. The Lakers do not currently have any true centers on their roster, while they have a glut of power forwards, including Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr. Tarik Black and Ryan Kelly.

Would Kevin Love leave the Cleveland Cavaliers? He may not have had a dream season with them, taking a back seat to LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and then watching the team enjoy success without him throughout most of the 2015 NBA playoffs, but he was still their third best player this season and surely enjoys being a part of a winning team, right? It’s still expected he remains with the Cavs, but, conversations elsewhere are being had. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Report: Lakers will meet with Kevin Love

The Los Angeles Lakers will meet with free agent Kevin Love later this week, according to league sources.

One source said the Lakers have heard Love is likely to re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but they still want to sit down with him. The meeting will be part of a busy week for the Lakers, who also will meet with LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan and Greg Monroe.

Besides securing a top-flight power forward, either Aldridge or Love, the Lakers hope to add a center. In addition to Jordan and Monroe, the Lakers have interest in Tyson Chandler and Robin Lopez, Aldridge’s teammate in Portland the past two seasons, sources said. The Lakers also will place a call to Marc Gasol, although the All-Star center is widely expected to re-sign with Memphis.

Even if you don’t follow the D-League particularly closely, or at all, it’s still fun to know who the head coaches are, and which players truly shine in the league — especially since those players often wind up on an NBA roster, at least on a 10-day contract, if not more. Going back to that first thing, here’s the latest D-League coaching news:

The Los Angeles D-Fenders have named Conner Henry as head coach, it was announced today by team President/CEO Joey Buss and General Manager Nick Mazzella.

Henry returns to the D-Fenders after serving as an assistant coach for the team during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, before becoming the head coach of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants prior to the 2013-14 season. In his first year, Henry led the Mad Ants to a 34-16 regular season record, edging out the D-Fenders for the top seed in the NBA D-League Playoffs. Fort Wayne would then go 6-0 in the playoffs en route to an NBA D-League Championship. Henry was later named 2014 Dennis Johnson Coach of the Year by his D-League colleagues. Last season, the Mad Ants made a similar run, sweeping their first two playoff series before ultimately falling short in the D-League Finals to the Santa Cruz Warriors.

“We expect great things from Conner Henry,” said Buss. “We consider him to be the best coach in the league. His leadership is effective for winning and developing players, having earned a championship and development award in the last two seasons.”

“I’m looking forward to returning to Los Angeles and to the D-Fenders organization,” Henry said. “I would like to thank General Manager Nick Mazzella and the Buss family for having the faith to bring me home to pursue an NBA D-League Championship. Our coaches, players and management will have one goal in mind, and that’s for our team to compete nightly while representing the Lakers, D-Fenders and our fans.”

The D-Fenders set a single-season D-League record for wins when Henry was an assistant, tallying 38 wins in 2011-12 and making their first NBA D-League Finals appearance. After the 2012-13 season, Henry joined the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, amassing a 62-38 record in two seasons, winning the NBA D-League Championship in 2013-14 and falling just short in 2014-15. Henry served as head coach of the NBA D-League Select Team in the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, tallying a 3-3 record.

“Our goal is to cultivate players and staff for the Lakers and the NBA, while competing for a D-League Championship,” said Mazzella. “Conner has had great success over the past two seasons as a head coach in the D-League, and we are confident that with him at the helm these objectives will be met.”

Prior to his work in the NBA D-League, Henry spent four years in the Australian National Basketball League, serving as an assistant coach for the Perth Wildcats (2006-08), before becoming the head coach in 2008-09. Henry then joined the Sydney Kings as an assistant coach for the 2010-11 season, before returning stateside with the D-Fenders.

The 51-year old Henry enjoyed a lengthy professional career, including stints in the NBA with the Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings from 1986-1988. Henry would also prosper in the CBA, as well as in the Italian, Spanish, French and Greek professional leagues. The Claremont, CA native attended the University of California, Santa Barbara and tallied 1,236 points in his four years. Henry was then selected by the Houston Rockets with the 19th pick of the fourth round in the 1986 NBA Draft.

Lakers draft workouts continue

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog reporting the latest on Lakers NBA Draft workouts:

Only two hours earlier, the Lakers worked out a prized prospect that might pave the way for a once storied franchise to return to prosperity.

Later on Tuesday afternoon, the Lakers worked out a player that might not even become available in the NBA Draft.

Duke freshman center Jahlil Okafor intrigued the Lakers as a possible No. 2 pick with his size, post play and eagerness to wear purple and gold. Murray State sophomore guard Cameron Payne intrigued the Lakers as a possible prospect should they somehow climb up in the NBA draft after their No. 2 pick and before their 27th and 34th selections.

NBA fines Dwight Howard $15K

Dwight Howard fined for hard foul on Matt Barnes

NBA fines Dwight Howard $15K

The NBA announced today that they have fined Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard $15,000 for making contact above the shoulders with Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes in Rockets-Clippers Game 4 on May 10.

Howard’s actions occurred with 9:21 remaining in the first quarter of the Clippers’ 128-95 win over the Rockets on May 10 at Staples Center.

The Clippers currently lead their second round series with the Rockets three games to one.

Lakers and Jordan Hill may part ways this summer

The Lakers weren’t a serious team this season. Rookie Julius Randle and aging star Kobe Bryant were injured. Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer didn’t do much. Rookie Jordan Clarkson played well for a stretch. But in general, the team is in transition. Which generally means parting ways with almost any player who isn’t a clear building block for the future. So, the Lakers and Jordan Hill may go their separate ways. Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog reporting:

The energy Jordan Hill displayed with his rebounding and putbacks left Byron Scott giddy, the former Time Warner Cable SportsNet analyst believing Hill could consistently produce double doubles if only granted more consistent minutes and featured in a more deliberate offense.

Once he became the Lakers’ coach this past season, Scott afforded Hill those opportunities. But despite Hill posting career-highs in points (12), rebounds (7.9), starts (57) and minutes (26.8) in the Lakers’ 21-61 2014-15 season, his exit interview last week featured Scott focusing more on what Hill lacked.

“He was disappointed he didn’t see that energy,” Hill said. “That’s something else I need to work on.”

That marks one of many reasons why the Lakers feel unsure if they will exercise his $9 million team option before June 30. Just like how it has become with any player on their roster, the Lakers are placing more priority on the NBA Draft on June 25 and the marquee stars once free agency begins on July 1.

Lakers will finish this season with 4th worst record in league

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting on the Lakers, who in case you forgot were in the NBA this season:

The Lakers have plenty of question marks, but their 59th loss of the season, a 120-106 defeat Sunday at Staples Center at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks, gave them some measure of certainty about the near future.

With that, the Lakers clinched the league’s fourth-worst record, meaning fans no longer have to cheer for losses this season to improve the team’s position heading into the May 19 draft lottery.

“It feels great,” coach Byron Scott said after Sunday’s game. “I understand a lot of the fans with where they were getting at [with losing games]. But I don’t agree with it.”

The Lakers will have an 82.8 percent chance of retaining their 2015 first-round pick, which they would convey to the Philadelphia 76ers if the pick falls out of the first five this year.

Lakers sign Vander Blue

Lakers sign Vander Blue for a few days

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Vander Blue for the remainder of the season (which ends Wednesday), it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Blue joins the Lakers from the team’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, where he finished second in the NBADL in scoring at 23.3 points per game on 47.3% shooting (41.6% from beyond-the-arc), in addition to 5.4 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game in 49 appearances (47 starts). The 22-year-old was selected as an NBADL All-Star this season, and held the distinction of being the only player to average at least 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists in 2014-15. Blue becomes the third D-Fender to receive a GATORADE Call-Up this season, joining Jabari Brown (Lakers) and Jamaal Franklin (Nuggets).

The 6’4’’ guard has previous NBA experience with the Boston Celtics, appearing in three games last season.

The season ends Wednesday. It’ll all be over soon

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog reporting on Lakers guard Jeremy Lin, who is probably thankful that the season ends Wednesday:

Jeremy Lin sits out practice with knee soreness

Lakers guard Jeremy Lin missed Saturday’s practice so he could receive treatment to heal persistent soreness in his left knee. Lin has missed the past two games because of his latest injury, and a recent MRI confirmed an abnormality in his meniscus that has existed since having surgery in 2012.

The Lakers (21-58) have not ruled out Lin playing for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks (48-31) at Staples Center.

Jordan Clarkson having very good season for Lakers

The 20-54 Lakers aren’t on the basketball map this season, but at least one bright spot exists: the play of guard Jordan Clarkson. He’s worth keeping around. Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News reporting:

Clarkson’s ranks third among rookies this season in points per game (10.9), eighth in shooting percentage (44.7%) and fifth in assists (3.1). Yet, those numbers do not fully capture Clarkson’s effectiveness considering he spent 20 of the Lakers’ first 43 games on the bench playing only garbage time. Based on his 31 starts, Clarkson actually ranks second in scoring behind Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins (16.3 points) and second in assists behind Orlando’s Elfrid Payton (6.3 assists).

In the his last five games, Clarkson has averaged 21.6 points, 5 rebounds and six assists. Both Scott and Clarkson attributed that uptick to various factors. They credited to how Clarkson has learned to temper his speed, which Scott said first started at 150 miles per hour and clocked against New Orleans at 75 miles per hour. Clarkson credited the increased floor spacing with Ryan Kelly assuming the stretch four position. Both touted how Clarkson has no fear in making the big play. Both gushed about how little time it takes for Clarkson to learn from a mistake.

Wayne Ellington done for season with shoulder injury

Wayne Ellington done for season with shoulder injury

Los Angeles Lakers guard Wayne Ellington, who was injured in the fourth quarter of last night’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans at STAPLES Center, had an MRI exam today which confirmed a grade 1 shoulder separation. Ellington will miss the remainder of the season.

In 65 games (36 starts) this season, Ellington averaged 10.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 0.5 steals in 25.8 minutes per game. The six year NBA veteran set single-game career marks in points (28), rebounds (10), assists (six), and field goals made (12) in 2014-15.

Lakers waive Steve Nash, sign Jabari Brown to multi-year contract

The Los Angeles Lakers have waived guard Steve Nash and signed guard Jabari Brown to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Brown, previously signed to 10-day contracts on March 10 and March 20, has appeared in 10 games for the Lakers, averaging 9.4 points on 50.0% (32-64) shooting, including 45.8% (11-24) from three-point range, in addition to 1.7 assists, 1.5 rebounds, and 1.0 steals in 24.5 minutes per game.

Monday, Brown had the best performance of his NBA career, scoring a career-high 22 points on 7-10 shooting (3-4 from beyond-the-arc), playing 34 minutes in an overtime victory at Philadelphia.

Prior to joining the Lakers, Brown was a member of the Lakers NBA Development League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, where he led the D-League in scoring at 24.4 points per game to go along with 4.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 39 games (25 starts). A 2015 NBA D-League All-Star, Brown tallied two of the highest single-game scoring outputs in the D-League this season, finishing with 50 points on January 10th at Sioux Falls and 48 points on February 28th versus Bakersfield.

Steve Nash announces retirement

Steve Nash announces retirement

Steve Nash has announced his retirement from basketball. Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting:

Steve Nash announces retirement

After a 19-year NBA career in which he twice won MVP honors, tallied the third-most assists in league history and assured his place in the Hall of Fame as one of the greatest point guards ever to play the game, Steve Nash formally announced he is walking away from the game Saturday in a letter published on The Players’ Tribune website.

“The greatest gift has been to be completely immersed in my passion and striving for something I loved so much — visualizing a ladder, climbing up to my heroes,” Nash wrote. “The obsession became my best friend. I talked to her, cherished her, fought with her and got knocked on my ass by her.

“And that is what I’m most thankful for in my career. In my entire life, in some ways. Obviously, I value my kids and my family more than the game, but in some ways having this friend — this ever-present pursuit — has made me who I am, taught me and tested me, and given me a mission that feels irreplaceable. I am so thankful. I’ve learned so many invaluable lessons about myself and about life. And of course I still have so much to learn. Another incredible gift.”

Nash, who didn’t play this season with the Los Angeles Lakers because of injuries, finishes his career with 10,335 assists, third-most in NBA history behind John Stockton and Jason Kidd.

Lakers sign Jabari Brown to second 10-day contract

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Jabari Brown to a second 10-day contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Brown, originally signed to a 10-day contract on March 10, appeared in four games for the Lakers, averaging 7.0 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 1.0 steals in 20.0 minutes per game.

Prior to joining the Lakers, Brown was a member of the Lakers NBA Development League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, where he led the D-League in scoring at 24.4 points per game to go along with 4.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 39 games (25 starts). A 2015 NBA D-League All-Star, Brown tallied two of the highest single-game scoring outputs in the D-League this season, finishing with 50 points on January 10th at Sioux Falls and 48 points on February 28th versus Bakersfield.

The 6’4” rookie out of Missouri averaged 19.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in his final collegiate season in 2013-14 before declaring himself eligible for the 2014 NBA Draft. An Oakland, Calif. native, Brown was in training camp with the Lakers prior to this season before being waived on October 25.

With most starters out, Hawks beat Lakers

The Atlanta Hawks are 52-14 this season, which is the best record in the Eastern conference and second best in the NBA behind the 52-13 Warriors. They believe a deep playoff run is possible. Which means they need to keep their squad healthy, and a good way to do that is to rest key players when their game schedule gets a little too crowded. Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting:

What difference does another starter make?

The Hawks were already resting three starters – Jeff Teague, DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap – when they lost Kyle Korver to a broken nose during Sunday’s game against the lowly Lakers.

It didn’t matter.

Al Horford, the lone remaining starter, had 21 points, five rebounds, five steals and three assists as the Hawks defeated the Lakers 91-86 Sunday night at Staples Center. Horford played a normal 35 minutes as the Hawks controlled much of the game and a held off a Lakers’ fourth-quarter rally in a reserve-lead effort.

Dennis Schroder had a game- and career-high 24 points to go with 10 assists. His layup with 13.9 seconds left stopped a 16-2 Lakers run. He added two free throws in the closing seconds to ice the win.

Byron Scott plans to start Jeremy Lin during final stretch of season

Look. This wasn’t going to be the Lakers’ season, even if Kobe Bryant was healthy. Now, what does that point have to do with this particular story? Not a lot. It just needed to be said, for the sake of general overall perspective. As for Jeremy Lin, here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog reporting:

Byron Scott plans to start Jeremy Lin

Lakers coach Byron Scott will soon make a move that Jeremy Lin supports.

Scott plans to start Lin at point guard, likely with 10 games left in the season. The timing is not definitive. The Lakers (17-46) will host the Atlanta Hawks (51-14) on Sunday at Staples Center featuring Jordan Clarkson at point guard for the 22nd consecutive start. The Lakers will also feature Wayne Ellington (shooting guard), Wesley Johnson (small forward), Jordan Hill (power forward) and Tarik Black (center), a lineup that has started for the past three contests.

But Scott plans to start Ryan Kelly at power forward at some point and Lin at point guard, the latter scenario seeming more definitive on the timing.

“I want to see how much of a difference it is now as opposed to the start of the season,” Scott said after Sunday’s morning shootaround at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo.

Byron Scott does not think Kobe Bryant will eventually become a coach

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News reporting Lakers head coach Byron Scott’s views on Kobe Bryant’s eventual post-playing days:

coach kobe bryant?

Scott then quickly reiterated his doubts Bryant would ever coach.

“He would be like Earvin (Johnson),” said Scott, referring to Johnson’s brief Lakers coaching stint that entailed a 5-11 record in the 1993-94 season. “Kobe would be in the locker room like Earvin throwing stuff and going crazy. It’s a tough job. Those two guys, as competitive as they are and as much as they won back on their day, both of them would be beating up players.”

Scott conceded he threw “a tantrum or two” early in his coaching career that included stops with the former New Jersey Nets (2000-04), former New Orleans Hornets (2004-09) and Cleveland Cavaliers (2010-13).

Scott said he has since mellowed. How did that happen?

“Just the experience of knowing these guys don’t do it the way we did it,” said Scott.

Lakers officially eliminated from playoff contention

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting what was inevitable:

The Lakers were eliminated from playoff contention Tuesday, marking their earliest elimination since the franchise moved to L.A. before the 1960-61 season.

The Lakers were officially knocked out when the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Brooklyn Nets.

They later beat the Detroit Pistons 93-85 to improve to 17-46.

Their elimination marks only the seventh time in franchise history that the Lakers will miss the postseason and only the second time that they’ve missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons (1974-75 and 1975-76).

Lakers sign Jabari Brown to 10-day contract

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Jabari Brown to a 10-day contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Brown, who was most recently a member of the Lakers NBA Development League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, joins the team after leading the D-League in scoring at 24.4 points per game to go along with 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 39 games (25 starts). A 2015 NBA D-League All-Star, Brown tallied two of the highest single-game scoring outputs in the D-League this season, finishing with 50 points on January 10th at Sioux Falls and 48 points on February 28th versus Bakersfield.

Brown, a 6’4” rookie out of Missouri and a teammate of Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson last season in college, averaged 19.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 2013-14 before declaring himself eligible for the 2014 NBA Draft. An Oakland, Calif. native, Brown later signed with the Lakers for NBA training camp in 2014.

The Lakers roster now stands at 16 players after being granted a hardship waiver exception from the NBA.

Kobe Bryant wants Rajon Rondo to join Lakers this summer

Would you want to play with Kobe Bryant? In his prime, sure. What about now, as his career winds down? Depends on the other teammates, we’d assume. If Rajon Rondo has to make a decision and it’s going to be Rondo, old Kobe and a rebuilding project, that’s probably not too attractive to Rondo. Anyway, here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting:

rajon rondo

Rajon Rondo knows Kobe Bryant is recruiting him to join the Los Angeles Lakers when Rondo becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.

And the Dallas Mavericks point guard is obviously flattered to hear Bryant admit as much publicly, as Bryant did in late January.

But Bryant’s recruiting efforts appeared especially strong Sunday, when he appeared on the Lakers sideline for the first time since his season-ending shoulder injury Jan. 21 — just in time to watch Rondo’s Mavericks beat the Lakers 100-93.

“When he speaks, it speaks volumes,” Rondo said after finishing with eight points, nine assists, four rebounds and three turnovers. “It’s an honor and a compliment that he’d want to play with a guy like me, but right now, I’m focused on winning a championship with the Dallas Mavericks.”

Would Rondo want to play with Bryant, who will enter his 20th, and likely final, NBA season in 2015-16?

“I’m focused on what I have to do right now,” Rondo said. “It’s impossible to play with Kobe right now.”

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