Archive for the ‘ Los Angeles Lakers Blog ’ Category

Lakers sign JaVale McGee

The Lakers’ signing of center JaVale McGee became official today. It’s reportedly a one-year deal.

McGee appeared in 65 games (17 starts) for Golden State last season, tallying 4.8 points (.621 FG%) and 2.6 rebounds in 9.5 minutes per game. The seven-footer has played in 558 career games (187 starts) for Washington, Denver, Philadelphia, Dallas and Golden State, with averages of 7.5 points (.559 FG%), 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 16.7 minutes.

“JaVale changes the geometry of the game,” said Pelinka. “His unique combination of incredible length and foot nimbleness will allow us to play fast at both ends. His ability to both protect the rim and create angles with rim rolls will present a number of advantages in Coach Walton’s system.”

A 10-year NBA veteran, McGee won back-to-back championships as a member of the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018 and has appeared in 44 NBA playoff games (12 starts), averaging 6.5 points (.610 FG%), 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 14.0 minutes.

Selected by Washington with the 18th overall selection in the 2008 NBA Draft, McGee averaged 8.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 66 career games (31 starts) at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Lakers sign Lance Stephenson

The Lakers’ signing of guard/forward Lance Stephenson became official today.

Per multiple reports, the deal is just for one year, $4.5 million.

Stephenson appeared in all 82 games (seven starts) for the Indiana Pacers last season, tallying 9.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 22.6 minutes per game.

“It’s incredibly exciting to have Lance join our team,” Pelinka said. “Lance is playoff-tested and will bring a certain edge, confidence and toughness to our roster. His multi-positional versatility and open-court playmaking abilities are key ingredients for the basketball style we designed for next season.”

An eight-year NBA veteran, Stephenson has played in 440 career games (196 starts) for Indiana, Charlotte, the LA Clippers, Memphis, New Orleans and Minnesota, averaging 8.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 24.4 minutes. He has also appeared in 57 NBA playoff games (38 starts), with career averages of 11.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

Selected by the Pacers with the 40th selection in the 2010 NBA Draft, Stephenson averaged 12.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 34 career games (32 starts) at the University of Cincinnati.

Lakers sign rookie Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk

The Los Angeles Lakers signed rookie guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk today.

The 47th overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft out of the University of Kansas, Mykhailiuk earned All-Big 12 Second Team honors last season, with averages of 14.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. Mykhailiuk shot a Big 12-leading 44.4 percent from three-point range and set the KU single-season record with 115 three-point field goals made.

A native of Cherkasy, Ukraine, Mykhailiuk began his collegiate career at 17 years old as the youngest player in Big 12 history, and would go on to make three trips to the Sweet Sixteen, including one Final Four appearance in his four-year career. Mykhailiuk has also represented the Ukraine at the international level, leading the U-20 National Team in scoring during the 2016 FIBA European Championship.

Lakers sign rookie Isaac Bonga

Lakers sign rookie Isaac Bonga

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed forward Isaac Bonga.

The 39th overall pick in this years’ NBA Draft, Bonga was acquired from Philadelphia today in exchange for a 2019 second round draft pick and cash considerations. Bonga joins the Lakers from Fraport Skyliners in Germany and has competed internationally with the German National Team in qualifying rounds of the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Bonga is expected to join the Lakers summer league team in Las Vegas for their opening contest versus Philadelphia, tomorrow at 8:30 p.m.

The Los Angeles Lakers have re-signed guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

“We are excited to bring KCP back,” said Pelinka. “He is a true ‘two-way’ player, which is very important for our team DNA. We think he will multiply his successes from last year as we move forward with roster continuity.”

In 74 games (all starts) for the Lakers last season, Caldwell-Pope averaged 13.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 steals in 33.2 minutes per game, while tallying career highs in field goal percentage (.426) and three-point percentage (.383).

The five-year NBA veteran has appeared in 388 career games (348 starts) for the Lakers and Detroit Pistons, holding career averages of 12.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 steals in 30.8 minutes. He is also one of 22 players in league history to convert at least 635 three-pointers in his first five professional seasons (638).

Sixers trade Isaac Bonga to Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired forward Isaac Bonga from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for a 2019 second round draft pick and cash considerations, it was announced today by General Manager Rob Pelinka.

Originally selected by the 76ers with this year’s No. 39 draft pick, Bonga averaged 6.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists for the Fraport Skyliners in Germany last season. Bonga has also competed internationally with the German National Team in qualifying rounds of the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

The Lakers reportedly came to an agreement with LeBron James early in free agency, and then proceeded to add a stream of players who are talented but aren’t known for their shooting ability or their decision-making. To hear the agreements one after the other was almost shocking. The only thought is, perhaps a big Lakers trade is looming, or perhaps the Lakers are merely stalling until next season’s free agency and that’s why they’re doing these one-year deals. Here’s the LA Times reporting:

Within 24 hours of adding the disciplined and professional James to a group of young and impressionable kids, the Lakers have inexplicably opened the locker room door to three veteran misfits.

In moves that ended Monday afternoon, they gave one-year deals to Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo in what only sounds like a “Saturday Night Live” spoof.

All three are valued for their fierce competitiveness. All three are also renowned for their unabashed kookiness.

Not only do all three have histories of odd and unsettling on-court behavior, but none of the three can provide James with the expert shooter his game desperately needs. The Lakers still don’t have that shooter. They also don’t have fan favorite and greatly improved Julius Randle, who looked at the new landscape Monday, threw up his hands and moved to New Orleans.

Full article

LeBron James will sign with the Lakers

The first 24 hours of 2018 free agency have been epic. After a large flurry of reported agreements late Saturday night as the negotiation period kicked off, Sunday evening multiple outlets reported that LeBron James has decided to sign with the Lakers. Here’s the LA Times with more:

After securing a commitment from LeBron James on a four-year deal worth $154 million, the Lakers agreed Sunday to one-year deals with three veterans.

They will pay Kentavious Caldwell-Pope $12 million, Lance Stephenson $4.4 million and JaVale McGee $2.4 million, according to people familiar with the agreements who were not authorized to speak publicly. None of the deals can become official until Friday when the league’s moratorium on signing contracts lifts.

Two contracts did become official. The Lakers signed first-round draft pick Moe Wagner, which means he cannot be traded for at least 30 days. They also signed Malik Newman, a rookie out of Kansas, to a two-way contract.

Caldwell-Pope spent last season with the Lakers on a one-year deal worth $18 million, after spending the first four years of his career with the Detroit Pistons. He hit the market late because the Pistons waited until mid-July to renounce their rights to him after they were unable to reach an agreement on a new contract.

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The Lakers signed rookie guard Malik Newman to a two-way contract today.

Newman appeared in 39 games (33 starts) for Kansas last season, averaging 14.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals in 31.6 minutes. The 2018 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year averaged a team-high 21.6 points in the NCAA Tournament, leading Kansas to the Final Four and earning NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional Most Outstanding Player honors.

Per NBA rules, teams are permitted to have up to two players under two-way contracts on their roster at any given time, in addition to their 15-man regular season roster.

Lakers sign rookie Moritz Wagner

The Los Angeles Lakers signed rookie center Moritz Wagner today, General Manager Rob Pelinka announced.

Wagner, the 25th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, appeared in 107 career games (77 starts) for the Michigan Wolverines from 2015-18, with career averages of 10.4 points (.547 FG%) and 4.5 rebounds per game. In 2017-18, Wagner helped lead the Wolverines to a berth in the NCAA Championship game, earning All-Tournament Team honors with 15.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.2 steals in six NCAA Tournament games.

The 2018 Big Ten Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, Wagner helped Michigan to the team’s second consecutive Big Ten Tournament championship with four straight double-digit scoring outings. Wagner started every game of his sophomore and junior seasons, averaging career bests of 14.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.0 steals last season.

Lakers waive Tyler Ennis

The Los Angeles Lakers have requested waivers on guard Tyler Ennis, it was announced last night.

Acquired via trade on February 23, 2017, Ennis averaged 5.2 points, 2.1 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 76 games (13 starts) for the Lakers.

The Lakers may do massive things in free agency in the next week or two. We’re all waiting to see if they land Kawhi Leonard in free agency, what LeBron James, Paul George and other top players decide, etc.

The Los Angeles Lakers have extended a qualifying offer to forward Julius Randle, it was announced today by General Manager Rob Pelinka.

By extending the qualifying offer, Randle becomes a restricted free agent.

According to the LA Times, the offer is worth $5.6 million. And per the paper, “Randle will count for slightly less than $12.5 million against the Lakers’ salary cap.”

Drafted seventh overall by the Lakers in the 2014 NBA Draft, Randle owns career averages of 13.5 points (.493 FG%), 8.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 238 games (182 starts) for Los Angeles. Randle finished 10th in the NBA in field goal percentage last season, shooting 55.8 percent from the floor. The University of Kentucky product played all 82 games (49 starts) in 2017-18, averaging a career-best 16.1 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists.

Magic Johnson is more than ready to put pressure on himself in regard to his Lakers front office role. But reminds everybody that it’s not all about this summer, but the next one as well. Here’s the LA Times with more on what Magic said to the media today:

Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson said Tuesday he will step down from his role if the Lakers fail to attract marquee players in the free-agency periods of 2018 and 2019.

“Next summer if nobody comes and I’m still sitting here like this, then it’s a failure,” Johnson said. “But if you judge us on one summer that’s ridiculous. Then a lot of dudes shouldn’t be in their roles. Because if we’re banking on one summer for the Lakers we’re in trouble, we’re in trouble. You have to give us time. This class, like I told you before I took the job and when I took the job, it’s going to be a two-summer thing for the Lakers. This summer and next summer. That’s it.

“If I can’t deliver I’m going to step down myself, she won’t have to fire me,” he said of controlling owner Jeanie Buss. “I’ll step away from it, because I can’t do this job.”

Full article

The Lakers signed forward Travis Wear for the remainder of the season today.

Wear has averaged 4.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 12.1 minutes in 10 games since signing the first of two 10-day contracts with the Lakers on March 2. Initially called up from the South Bay Lakers, the Huntington Beach native is shooting 40.0 percent from three-point range.

The Lakers roster stands at 16, including two two-way players.

Lakers fall to Pacers, 110-100

The Lakers aren’t going to make the playoffs, but they’ve been a very solid team since the All-Star break, especially for a team built for the future. Here’s the Daily Breeze reporting on last night’s loss to the Pacers:

The injury bump has given way to the injury slump.

When first the Lakers had to respond to injuries to Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart, they did so admirably. They won games against the Miami Heat – the night Ingram went down – and San Antonio and Denver, all likely playoff teams. But gradually, the strain on the few healthy, remaining players has taken a toll too great to overcome, a fact forcefully punctuated by Monday’s 110-100 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

Luke Walton has seen it before. Lived it.

“Looking back to when I played,” Walton said, “If Kobe (Bryant) or someone like that, Lamar (Odom), was out, we’d all pick it up. But after three or four games, all those things that really good players make look easy, start to get a lot more difficult.”

Against the Pacers, the mundane was maddening. Passes sailed out of bounds and uncontested jumpers missed. The three starters in the Lakers’ frontcourt combined for 71 points, but their guards struggled.

The Lakers today signed forward Travis Wear to a second 10-day contract.

Wear has averaged 4.6 points and 2.4 rebounds in 10.4 minutes through five games with the Los Angeles Lakers. The UCLA product earned his first NBA Call-Up on March 2 after 33 games (29 starts) with the South Bay Lakers, where he averaged 16.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists, while shooting 44.5 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from three-point range.

The Lakers roster stands at 17, including two two-way players.

Derrick Williams’ NBA career isn’t over just yet. Not for the next week and a half, at least.

The Los Angeles Lakers signed Williams to a 10-day contract today.

Williams, a forward, most recently appeared in 15 games (six starts) for the Tianjin Gold Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association, averaging 20.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Formerly the second overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, Williams holds career averages of 8.9 points and 4.0 rebounds in 426 games (112 starts) with Minnesota, Sacramento, New York, Miami and Cleveland.

The Lakers roster stands at 17, including two two-way players.

The Lakers today signed forward Travis Wear to a 10-day contract.

Wear has appeared in 33 games (29 starts) for the South Bay Lakers this season, averaging 16.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists, while shooting 44.5 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from three-point range. In 2014-15, the UCLA graduate averaged 3.9 points and 2.1 rebounds in 13.2 minutes with the New York Knicks.

In February, he competed for the second time with Team USA as part of the FIBA World Cup Qualifying first round, helping lead the team to a 4-0 record.

The Lakers roster stands at 16, including two two-way players.

Josh Hart out after hand surgery

Lakers guard Josh Hart, who fractured the fourth metacarpal on his left hand at Wednesday’s practice in Miami, had surgery today to repair the fracture. The surgery was performed by Dr. Steven S. Shin.

Hart is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

According to, “Hart is averaging 6.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 21.5 minutes per game this season. The 30th pick in the NBA draft has started 20 games and four of his six double-doubles have come in his past 10 games as a starter. “He brings a lot to the team,” said point guard Lonzo Ball, who cut Hart’s steak for him at a Miami steakhouse when some players went to dinner the same day Hart injured his hand.”

Lonzo Ball’s recent return from injury has been a success. First in very limited minutes, but now playing most of the game. The scoring stars in tonight’s Lakers win over the Heat were Isaiah Thomas, Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma. But Ball filled the stat-sheet quite nicely. Here’s reporting:

As Lonzo Ball stood at his locker stall, he mumbled about how tired he was.

Despite still feeling some discomfort in his left knee, Ball was back in the starting lineup and had his best game since returning from a sprained left MCL, leaving his fingerprints all over the Los Angeles Lakers’ 131-113 rout over the Miami Heat.

Ball filled up the box score with 8 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds and a career-high 6 steals in 34 minutes. It was the most minutes Ball has played in his three games back. He missed 15 games because of his MCL injury.

Six Lakers scored in double figures Thursday night, including Isaiah Thomas (29 points and six 3-pointers) and Julius Randle (25 points, 21 coming in the first half), but Lakers coach Luke Walton said Ball was the best player on the floor despite taking only five shots.

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