Archive for the ‘ Los Angeles Lakers Blog ’ Category

Brandon Ingram named to All-Rookie Second Team

Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram has been named to the NBA’s All-Rookie Second Team, it was announced today. This is the third consecutive season that a Laker has been honored with an All-Rookie team selection and Ingram is the fifth Laker in team history (Kobe Bryant and Travis Knight in 1996-97, Nick Van Exel in 1993-94 and D’Angelo Russell in 2015-16) to be awarded Second Team honors.

The second overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft played in 79 games (40 starts) in 2016-17, averaging 9.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 28.9 minutes per game. He finished the year ranked eighth among rookies in points and 10th in rebounds, and was one of 10 American rookie and sophomore players selected by the league’s assistant coaches to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star 2017.

In 11 games played (11 starts) in March, Ingram notched 13.5 points (.517 FG%), 4.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.0 steals per game. Ingram continued his strong play in April, scoring in double-figures in 16 of his last 17 games played.

Trade now official: Brook Lopez to Lakers, D'Angelo Russell to Nets

The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired center Brook Lopez and forward Kyle Kuzma from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for center Timofey Mozgov and guard D’Angelo Russell, it was announced today by General Manager Rob Pelinka.

Lopez appeared in 75 games (all starts) for Brooklyn in 2016-17, averaging 20.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 blocks per game. Formerly the 10th overall selection in the 2008 NBA Draft, he owns career averages of 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds in 562 games with Brooklyn. The 2013 NBA All-Star departs as the Nets’ all-time leading scorer.

Selected by Brooklyn with this year’s No. 27 draft pick, Kuzma averaged 16.4 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists for Utah in 2016-17. The former All-Pac 12 First Team and Pac-12 All-Defensive Team selection appeared in 96 career games (64 starts) for the Utes, tallying 10.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists.

“We are extremely excited to welcome D’Angelo and Timofey to our Brooklyn Nets family,” said Nets General Manager Sean Marks. “D’Angelo is a versatile young guard with a bright future and we are enthusiastic about continuing his development along with our young nucleus, while Timofey will provide a veteran presence who can contribute on both ends of the floor. Both are great fits within Kenny’s system.

“We would also like to thank Brook for all of his contributions to the team over his nine seasons with the Nets. As the franchise’s all-time leading scorer and longest-tenured player, he has been an exemplary member of the organization and always represented the Nets with class both on the court and in the community. We wish Brook and his family nothing but success in the future.”

Trade now official: Brook Lopez to Lakers, D'Angelo Russell to Nets

Russell joins the Nets after spending the first two seasons of his NBA career with the Lakers. He was selected with the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft and averaged 13.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.2 steals in 28.2 minutes per game in 80 games (48 starts) in his inaugural season en route to All-Rookie Second Team honors. This past season, the 21-year-old appeared in 63 games (60 starts) and increased his production across the board, averaging 15.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.4 steals in 28.7 minutes per game. Prior to beginning his NBA career, Russell earned Associated Press First Team All-America, Big Ten Freshman of the Year and All-Big Ten First Team honors in his lone collegiate season at Ohio State, registering averages of 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 33.9 minutes per game.

Mozgov has appeared in 423 career games (260 starts) in seven NBA seasons with the Lakers, Cavaliers, Nuggets and Knicks, recording averages of 7.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per game. This past season with the Lakers, the 30-year-old saw action in 54 games (52 starts) and averaged 7.4 points and 4.9 rebounds in 20.4 minutes per game. Mozgov won an NBA championship with Cleveland in 2016 and earned a bronze medal at the Summer Olympics in London with his native Russia in 2012. Prior to beginning his NBA career, Mozgov played professionally for six years in Russia, the final four of which came with Khimki Moscow (2006-10).

Nick Young enters NBA free agency

Nick Young enters NBA free agency

Lakers forward/guard Nick Young has elected not to exercise his option to extend his contract for the 2017-18 season, it was announced today. Young, therefore, has become an unrestricted free agent.

Acquired as a free agent in 2013, Young appeared in 220 career games (71 starts) for the Lakers, averaging 13.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 24.5 minutes.

clippers

The L.A. Clippers and the City of Inglewood announced today that they have entered into a three-year Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) that will allow the Clippers to explore building a new state-of-the-art basketball arena, training facilities and team offices in Inglewood, Calif. Under the ENA, which was unanimously approved Thursday morning by the Inglewood City Council, the Clippers will consider a 20-acre site located south of Century Boulevard at Prairie Avenue and directly across the street from the future football stadium and entertainment district being developed by The Kroenke Group.

The ENA establishes a three-year timeframe during which the L.A. Clippers will develop the details of its proposed basketball facility. The City of Inglewood will conduct an environmental review including an evaluation of the proposed facility’s construction and operational impacts.

The Clippers have called STAPLES Center, located in downtown Los Angeles, home since 1999. The team’s current lease with Anschutz Entertainment Group, the owners of STAPLES Center, will expire at the end of the 2023-2024 NBA season.

“Today’s announcement is consistent with what Steve Ballmer and the Clippers leadership have said for years – we want to be regarded as the best. That requires setting the highest bar for our performance in every aspect of our business,” stated Gillian Zucker, L.A. Clippers President of Business Operations. “To accomplish this goal, we must have options for the future.”

“This agreement serves as an example of the team’s commitment to providing Clipper Nation with the best game experience in the NBA,” Zucker said. “It is another step in the journey toward building a championship culture that will deliver positive results for Clippers players, fans and the greater Los Angeles community.”

“The Clippers applaud the energy and vision that Mayor Butts has for his city,” added Zucker. “His tenacity was instrumental in getting this Exclusive Negotiating Agreement across the finish line.”

The new arena would be 100 percent privately funded and privately capitalized. No public dollars will be used for this project.

Under the exclusive negotiating agreement, the L.A. Clippers are responsible for the costs to plan, entitle and develop the proposed facility. Within 24 hours of signing the ENA, the L.A. Clippers will pay the City of Inglewood $1.5 million, which will fund the City’s administrative costs. If additional funding is required, the Clippers will provide the necessary resources.

Clippers may build their own arena in Inglewood

The Staples Center is home to both the Lakers and Clippers, but the latter squad would reportedly enjoy a home of their own.

According to the LA Times, “Inglewood’s City Council will vote Thursday on an exclusive negotiating agreement with a Clippers-controlled company to use city-owned land to build an arena for the team, according to a copy of the agreement.”

More from the Times: The 22 acres where the 18,000- to 20,000-seat arena would be built are across the street from the 298-acre site where Rams owner Stan Kroenke is building a stadium that will house his team and the Chargers.

Many NBA Draft prospects intentionally avoid mentioning a favorite team, or who they hope to play for. Not Lonzo Ball. He hopes to be a Laker, and has no problem stating that to the world. Here’s ESPN.com with more:

After an individual workout in front of Lakers brass — which included Magic Johnson, the player he patterned his game after — point guard Lonzo Ball reiterated his desire on Wednesday to play for his hometown team.

“Of course,” Ball answered during an eight-minute media session that followed the workout. “It’s home.”

Ball also said that if the Lakers pass on him, he would play for any team.

“I’ll go to any team and just do what I do,” Ball said. “Play basketball.”

Lakers hire Gunnar Peterson

Lakers hire Gunnar Peterson

The Los Angeles Lakers have hired Gunnar Peterson as Director of Strength and Endurance Training.

Peterson will design and implement a strength and conditioning program for the team with the goal of keeping the players performing at elite levels throughout the NBA season.

“From his time in college at Duke University until now, Gunnar has pursued excellence in training and fitness,” said General Manager Rob Pelinka. “Gunnar is a true pioneer and visionary at his craft, and will bring a new mentality to our weight room which we are all very excited about. Since Magic and I have worked with Gunnar in the past, we have a strong relationship with him, which makes working together now feel seamless.”

Prior to joining the Lakers, Peterson was a personal trainer for some of the top entertainers and athletes in the world. A 28-year veteran of the fitness industry, Peterson has worked with athletes from the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB, USTA, boxing and various NCAA sports.

The Houston, TX native is a graduate of Duke University and is a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).

Luol Deng undergoes pectoral muscle surgery

Lakers forward Luol Deng underwent successful surgery this morning to repair his right pectoral muscle.

The Lakers say Deng is expected to make a full recovery by the start of 2017-18 training camp.

The Lakers were just 26-56 this season, which was the third worst record in the league. Deng was signed for big money, making $18 million last season according to ESPN, but had a quiet year, averaging 7.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, shooting an awful 38.7% FG.

According to the L.A. Daily News, “though the Lakers sounded confident about Deng’s future health, his future as a player remains uncertain. The Lakers may try to trade Deng, who has three years left worth $54 million left on his contract. But the size of that contract also presents various challenges in unloading it.”

Vander Blue wins D-League MVP award

Vander Blue wins D-League MVP award

Los Angeles D-Fenders guard Vander Blue has been named the 2016-17 NBA Development League Most Valuable Player in a vote by the league’s 22 head coaches, it was announced today.

Blue (6-4, 200) played in 47 games (46 starts) for the D-Fenders this season, averaging 24.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game while finishing as the league’s third-leading scorer. The former Marquette standout led Los Angeles to a Western Conference-best 34-16 record on the season before becoming the first player in team history to win the league’s top individual honor.

An NBA D-League All-Star in each of his three seasons with the D-Fenders, Blue scored in double figures in all but one of his contests this season, hitting the 20-point mark 39 times throughout the 2016-17 campaign. He was named the NBA D-League Player of the Week on December 26 and January 30.

Blue’s latest season adds to what has been a record-breaking career ­as he leads the D-Fenders in all-time points and rebounds. Blue’s 4,058 career point total ranks third in D-League history, and his 22.5 scoring average is good for the second-best career average in the league. He set league records in single-game free throws made (23) and attempted (27) this season, also finishing the year with a new league record in makes from the charity stripe (363).

Here’s ESPN LA reporting on the Lakers, whose young squad is finally putting together some wins, but at a questionable time when taking the future of the franchise into consideration:

As the 3-pointer left D’Angelo Russell’s fingertips and lofted through the air, the game, as well as the Los Angeles Lakers’ draft odds, hung in the balance.

When the ball bounced on the lip of the rim and fell through, Staples Center erupted, which is the appropriate reaction when the home team wins.

But with the 110-109 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Lakers’ fourth in a row, Los Angeles (25-55) missed an opportunity to make ground on the Phoenix Suns (24-57), who had defeated the Dallas Mavericks earlier in the night, as the Lakers battle to keep their top-three protected 2017 lottery pick.

For the first time since the 2012-13 season, when they won their final five games of the season, the Lakers have won four games in a row. This should be a cause for celebration — but these wins are coming at the worst possible time. With two games remaining on the Lakers’ schedule, and one for the Suns, their respective fates are likely set, which means the Lakers will head to New York on May 16 for the 2017 draft lottery with the third-best odds at the No. 1 overall pick and a 48.6 percent chance of keeping their lottery pick.

Here’s the OC Register reporting on some key young Lakers,who will likely participate in 2017 Summer League action:

As the Lakers’ two youngest players sat next to each other at their respective lockers before a recent game, Brandon Ingram and Ivica Zubac fully realized the mistake of putting too much stock in how they perform in Las Vegas this summer.

They will play on the Lakers’ Summer League team in July for the second consecutive year, but both stressed their growth hinges more on their offseason training regimen than cashing out big in Sin City.

The Lakers (22-55) enter Wednesday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs (59-17) at AT&T Center with Zubac nursing a season-ending right ankle injury and Ingram on a minutes restriction because of tendinitis in his right knee. But after showing enough growth in their rookie seasons to have the Lakers optimistic about their long-term trajectory, Ingram and Zubac offered a sneak preview that could Lakers fans believing they hit the jackpot.

Ingram boastfully predicted he will average 40 points in summer league while Zubac will average 30.

“He’ll take a couple of threes, a couple of hook shots and call it a day,” Ingram said of Zubac.

Lakers sign David Nwaba

The Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday signed guard David Nwaba to a multi-year contract.

“We have been impressed by David’s focus and determination, especially on defense,” said Pelinka. “He has a mentality about him that is infectious, and he works hard every day to improve himself. He has brought energy to both our Lakers and D-Fenders games, and has certainly earned his spot on the roster.”

Nwaba signed the first of his two 10-day contracts with the Lakers on February 28, and the second on March 11. In 10 games (two starts), Nwaba is averaging 3.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in 14.4 minutes. The L.A. native went undrafted out of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, and played in 39 games (30 starts) with the Lakers NBA Development League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, before his Call-Up to the Lakers, where he tallied 14.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks in 29.0 minutes.

The Lakers roster stands at 15.

Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe has been fined $35,000 for shoving Los Angeles Lakers guard/forward Nick Young above the shoulders, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Young has been fined $25,000 for initiating the altercation by shoving Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon.

Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell has been fined $15,000 for entering the altercation and pushing Monroe.

The incident, for which all three were assessed technical fouls and ejected, occurred with 36 seconds remaining in the third quarter of the Bucks’ 107-103 win over the Lakers at Staples Center on March 17.

Justin Harper back with the D-Fenders

Justin Harper back with the D-Fenders

The Los Angeles D-Fenders have reacquired forward Justin Harper following the completion of his 10-day contract with the Philadelphia 76ers, it was announced today.

Harper (6-10, 225) appeared in three games after signing with the Sixers on March 3, averaging 4.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in 10.3 minutes per contest. In 37 games (all starts) with the D-Fenders this season, the two-time NBA D-League All-Star has averaged 16.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists. Additionally, Harper is shooting 49.1 percent from the field this season, including a 40.1 clip from three-point range.

Harper and the D-Fenders will be back on the court against the Iowa Energy at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard David Nwaba to a second 10-day contract, General Manager Rob Pelinka announced today.

Nwaba (6-5, 204) averaged 2.6 points, 1.6 rebounds and 11.2 minutes through five games after earning an NBA Call-Up with the Lakers on February 28. He originally joined the club from the team’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, where he played in 39 games (30 starts), averaging 14.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks in 29.0 minutes per contest.

The Lakers roster stands at 15.

Nick Young’s house burglarized

The celebrity burglary thiefstravaganza continues … this time, crooks struck the L.A. home of Lakers star Nick Young (again!) and made off with $500k in cash and jewelry after taking his entire safe!!!

Law enforcement sources confirm … Young’s Valley residence was hit in February when the bad guys entered through an unlocked door and pilfered the NBA star’s valuables.

We’re told crooks took roughly $30k in cash plus 3 gold chains, a custom ring and a locked safe containing other valuables.

– TMZ Sports

Here’s the Orange County Register reporting on the Lakers, who have one of the league’s worst records but also boast an intriguing cast of young talent:

Luke Walton concerned that the Lakers are a soft team

The outcome seemed as inevitable as Dirk Nowitzki sinking a fadeaway jumper.

The Lakers suffered a 122-111 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday at American Airlines Center, marking their eighth consecutive loss overall and the fourth consecutive year they were swept by the Mavericks in the regular-season series.

Afterward, Lakers coach Luke Walton echoed a criticism former Lakers coach Byron Scott often had last season when he called the team “soft.”

“Teams feel like when they play us right now, we’re kind of a soft team that they can come in to get their offensive numbers against,” Walton said. “That’s got to be up to us to change that.”

Walton expressed optimism the Lakers (19-45) will eventually do that.

Lakers hire Rob Pelinka as GM

The Los Angeles Lakers have hired Rob Pelinka as General Manager.

Pelinka, 47, joins the Lakers after spending the greater part of two decades representing many of the NBA’s top talent. During his tenure as an agent, Pelinka was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the Top 10 Sports Agents in the World. In his role, Pelinka will report to Lakers Governor Jeanie Buss and President of Basketball Operations, Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

“We have worked closely with Rob for many years and have first-hand experience with his knowledge of the league and the business of basketball,” said Buss. “In our recent discussions, it was clear that he also shares our goal of returning the Lakers to being an elite NBA franchise. Together with Earvin and Coach Walton, I believe we are in a great position to bring winning basketball back to the Lakers.”

“Rob’s knowledge of the NBA landscape and the CBA, as well as his relationships with GMs around the league, are invaluable,” said Johnson. “After running a successful sports agency and as someone who truly understands the inner workings of salary caps and player negotiations, he will bring the additional skills and experience needed in the Lakers executive office. Rob is a winner and the Lakers are fortunate to have him.”

The Lake Forest, Illinois native earned his B.B.A. from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan with high honors in 1993, before receiving his J.D., Cum Laude, from the University of Michigan Law School in 1996. While at Michigan, Pelinka earned a 1989 National Championship as a member of the Wolverines basketball team and also took part in three NCAA Final Fours (1989, 1992 & 1993).

“I am beyond grateful to join the Lakers front office,” said Pelinka. “The Lakers are a gold standard for sports franchises in the world, so we all share a responsibility to pursue excellence in everything we do. Excellence is what the Lakers stands for, what Jeanie Buss and Earvin Johnson embody, and what Coach Walton demands from our players. That obsession for greatness is what will bring Lakers basketball back to a championship level. With Jeanie and Magic guiding the vision, I am thrilled to help architect the future. I am really excited to get to work.”

Lakers waive Jose Calderon

Lakers waive Jose Calderon

The Los Angeles Lakers have waived guard José Calderón, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

Calderón (6-3, 200) appeared in 24 games (11 starts) for the Lakers this season, averaging 3.3 points, 2.1 assists and 1.7 rebounds in 12.2 minutes per game.

The Lakers roster now stands at 14.

Rockets trade Tyler Ennis, Brad Newley draft rights to Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired guard Tyler Ennis and the draft rights to guard/forward Brad Newley from the Houston Rockets in exchange for guard Marcelo Huertas, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

Ennis has appeared in 31 games for the Rockets this season, averaging 1.9 points and 1.1 assists in 6.3 minutes per game. Formerly the 18th overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft, he owns career averages of 3.5 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 110 games with Phoenix, Milwaukee and Houston.

Newley was selected by the Rockets with the 54th overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft. A two-time representative for Australia’s Olympic team, he currently plays for AEK Athens in Greece.

Huertas averaged 3.9 points, 1.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 76 games with the Lakers.

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