Archive for the ‘ Los Angeles Lakers Blog ’ Category

Here’s the Orange County Register reporting on new Lakers center Roy Hibbert, who the Indiana Pacers basically traded to Los Angeles for nothing:

Roy Hibbert says he will dominate defensively for Lakers

To Larry Bird and others in charge in Indiana, Roy Hibbert was a lost cause. A lumbering center with little offensive game and a disinterested temperament, they were happy pawning him off for nothing more than a future second-round draft pick.

The Lakers, however, view Hibbert as a player who can not only regain his standing as an All-Star big man, but anchor their anemic defense, which last year ranked second-worst in the NBA.

“I expect to play at an All-Star defensive level, and everything else will come,” Hibbert said Wednesday.

Hibbert, 28, was introduced at the Lakers facility along with free agents Lou Williams and Brandon Bass, a clutch of veterans expected to help ease the burden on the team’s young core.

New Lakers have not heard from Kobe yet

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting on the Lakers, a team in serious transition, still kind-of built around old Kobe Bryant. Sort of. Money-wise, at least. Off-court communication-wise, maybe not so much right now.

When a new player joins the Los Angeles Lakers, it’s almost custom to ask whether he’s heard from the franchise’s longtime star Kobe Bryant and what — if any — advice, wisdom or expectations the veteran guard shared.

That question was posed Wednesday to forward Brandon Bass, guard Lou Williams and center Roy Hibbert, all of whom the Lakers acquired this offseason, the first two through free agency and the last through a trade with the Indiana Pacers.

And all three players, who were introduced at the team’s practice facility, offered the same answer: silence.

They looked at one another; Hibbert shook his head “no,” and they sat there. Bass smiled.

Kobe Bryant is a leader. And leaders generally like to talk. A lot, sometimes. Here’s Jordan Hill discussing former teammate Kobe Bryant, as reported by ESPN LA:

Jordan Hill joined the Los Angeles Lakers in March 2012, and in the three seasons that followed, the forward learned what it was like playing with star Lakers guard Kobe Bryant.

“When he’s on the floor, it’s like [exhales], all you hear is Kobe’s mouth,” Hill said when he was introduced by the Indiana Pacers, who acquired him through free agency this summer.

“He’s on the floor, all you hear is Kobe’s mouth, like during practice and games, it get loud. It get loud. A lot of people can’t handle that, I guess.”

Pacers trade Roy Hibbert to Lakers

Pacers trade Roy Hibbert to Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers yesterday acquired center Roy Hibbert in a trade with the Indiana Pacers, it was announced by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. In exchange the Pacers will receive a future second round pick.

In other words, the Pacers basically said, “here, take Hibbert.” 

“We’re happy to add a veteran big man to the roster,” said Kupchak. “Roy is a proven All-Star center that will help improve our front line. In addition he is a consummate professional and we look forward to having him on the team.”

Hibbert is very effective on defense. Offensively, he is limited.

“I’d like to thank Roy for all his contributions during his time in Indiana,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He was a two-time NBA All-Star, and we appreciate everything he did for our franchise both on and off the court.”

A seven-year NBA veteran and two-time All-Star (2012 and 2014), Hibbert appeared in 76 games (all starts) with the Pacers last season, averaging 10.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 25.3 minutes.

Originally selected by the Toronto Raptors with the 17th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, the Queens, New York native was acquired by the Pacers shortly before his rookie campaign and has appeared in 533 career games (492 starts) with Indiana, averaging 11.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 25.9 minutes. In 2014, Hibbert was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team after he finished the season ranked fourth in the NBA with 182 blocks (2.25 per game). The 7’2” center out of Georgetown has appeared and started in 54 postseason games averaging 12.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots in 31.6 minutes.

Lakers sign Brandon Bass

Lakers sign Brandon Bass

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed forward Brandon Bass to a multi-year contract, it was announced yesterday by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

“I am excited to add a player of Brandon’s skill level and character to our roster,” said Kupchak. “His work ethic, toughness, and selfless play lend themselves well to our team.”

Bass is a solid player and it’ll be interesting to see how he fits alongside newly-acquired Lakers center Roy Hibbert.

The Lakers are still not in a position to be very competitive in a very difficult Western conference.

A 10-year NBA veteran, Bass spent the last four years of his career with Boston, most recently averaging 10.6 points on 50.4% shooting in addition to 4.9 rebounds in 23.5 minutes per game last season. Since 2012-13, Bass has played in 245 of a possible 246 games (185 starts), including playing in all 82 games the last two seasons. For his career, the 30-year-old Bass holds averages of 9.1 points on 49.3% shooting and 4.7 rebounds in 22.6 minutes per game.

The 33rd pick of the 2005 NBA Draft by New Orleans, Bass spent the first two seasons of his career with the then-Hornets before signing as a free agent with Dallas in 2007, where he spent his next two seasons (2007-09). In the summer of 2009, the Baton Rouge native signed a free agent deal with Orlando, where he remained until being traded to Boston on December 12, 2011. Prior to the NBA, the 2005 SEC Player of the Year spent two seasons at LSU before declaring for the Draft following his sophomore season.

Lakers sign Lou Williams

Lakers sign Lou Williams

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams to a multi-year contract, it was announced yesterday by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

“I am pleased to welcome Lou to the Laker family,” said Kupchak. “We look forward to his contributions both on-court in bolstering our guard rotation, and also for the veteran leadership he can provide to our young players in the locker room.”

Last season with Toronto, Williams averaged a career-high 15.5 points per game in 80 appearances off the bench, leading to his selection at year’s end as the NBA’s most valuable player in a reserve role. The 10-year veteran also led the Raptors in free throw percentage (86.1%) and made a career-high 152 three-pointers. On March 4, Williams set a Raptors record for points in a quarter with 21 in the fourth period against Cleveland.

Selected by Philadelphia with the 45th pick in the 2005 NBA Draft out of South Gwinnett High School (GA), the 28-year-old spent his first seven NBA seasons with the 76ers before signing with the Atlanta Hawks in the 2012 offseason, and was traded to the Raptors last summer. For his career, Williams holds averages of 11.9 points, 2.9 assists, 2.0 rebounds, and 0.9 steals in 22.9 minutes per game over 634 contests.

The Los Angeles Lakers yesterday signed Anthony Brown, the 34th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, to a multi-year contract, it was announced by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Brown, a 6-7 guard/forward from Stanford, appeared in 37 games (36 starts) for the Cardinal last season, recording 14.8 points, a team-high 6.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting 43.1% from the field and 44.1% from three-point range. As a senior, Brown helped lead Stanford to the 2015 NIT championship and was named to the Pac-12 All-Academic Second Team in addition to earning an All-Pac-12 Honorable mention. The Southern California native finished his career at Stanford averaging 10.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 144 games (106 starts).

Lakers, Lou Williams agree to deal

It’s been a tough free agency period for the Lakers. They need all the help they can get, at almost every position. And even though they already have a scoring guard by the name of Kobe Bryant, adding another will help, whether that player gets used as a point guard or simply as scoring punch off the bench. They just need players, period. Enter Lou Williams. Here’s the Toronto Star reporting:

Lakers, Lou Williams agree to deal

Lou Williams has a new home and the Raptors have escaped making another tough decision that might not have resonated well with fans.

Williams, reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year, has reportedly agreed to a three-year, $21 million (U.S.) contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, sparing the Raptors from being anything like a villain in the departure of another free agent.

Along with Amir Johnson (to Boston on a two-year, $24 million deal) Johnson was a key part of last year’s Raptor success, and there were fans who would have liked both to return.

But the Raptors were not going to pay Williams that salary for three years and they weren’t going to go near $12 million a season for Johnson.

2015 Lakers summer league roster

The Los Angeles Lakers announced today their roster for the 2015 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. The Summer League entry is highlighted by returning Lakers Julius Randle, 2015 NBA All-Rookie First Team member Jordan Clarkson, Tarik Black and Jabari Brown along with 2015 NBA Draft selections D’Angelo Russell (second overall), Larry Nance Jr. (27th overall) and Anthony Brown (34th overall). Dwight Buycks, who was signed by Los Angeles to a 10-day contract in April of last season, and undrafted rookie Robert Upshaw are also part of the squad.

The team will hold its first practice next Monday, July 6 at the Toyota Sports Center and begin Summer League play in Las Vegas with a back-to-back set of games on Friday, July 10 against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Saturday, July 11 versus the Philadelphia 76ers. The Lakers then follow up with a contest against the New York Knicks on Monday, July 13 before the Summer League tournament begins.

Full roster here: Lakers summer league roster

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.

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