Archive for the ‘ Los Angeles Lakers Blog ’ Category

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.”

Julius Randle returns to court for non-contact basketball drills

Here’s the Orange County Register with an update on a promising Lakers rookie who has gained at least a partial NBA education this season but won’t really begin until 2015-16:

julius randle

Officially speaking, Julius Randle’s rookie season will have consisted of 14 minutes of basketball before it ended with a cruel twist and a bad break.

Unmeasured by statistics, is the vast majority of his season that has consisted of two surgeries, multiple stints on crutches and monotonous hours on an elliptical machine.

Finally, Randle was back on the court with the Lakers on Monday, more than four months after breaking his tibia on opening night, and two months after surgery to replace a screw in his right foot.

While Randle will not play again this season, the Lakers are slowly adding to his workload, which on Monday meant working with the coaching staff on some post moves and shooting.

No more Ronnie Price this season for Lakers

Here’s the Los Angeles Times reporting on Lakers guard Ronnie Price, whose time with the team may be over since he’s currently injured, and will be in need of a new contract this summer:

No more Ronnie Price this season for Lakers

Guard Ronnie Price, whom Lakers Coach Byron Scott has considered one of his toughest players and best defenders, is done for the rest of the season after having successful surgery to remove bone spurs and bone chips from his right elbow Wednesday.

The Lakers said Price, 31, is expected to be out approximately six to eight weeks, but Scott said that actually means Price will “be out for the year” considering the Lakers have only 26 regular-season games left.

Price, who’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer, appeared in 43 games for the Lakers and averaged 5.1 points and 3.8 assists in 22.8 minutes a game.

Ronnie Price out 6-8 weeks after elbow surgery

Ronnie Price out 6-8 weeks after elbow surgery

Lakers guard Ronnie Price underwent successful surgery this morning to remove bone spurs and bone chips from his right elbow. The surgery was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. Price is expected to be out approximately six to eight weeks.

Price, who signed with the Lakers as a free agent on September 24, has appeared in 43 games (20 starts) this season, averaging 5.1 points, 1.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.56 steals in 22.8 minutes per game.

Here’s TMZ reporting some bad news from Los Angeles:

An L.A. mansion owned by former NBA player Earl Watson was robbed Monday night by at least 4 men in ski masks — who handcuffed the occupants and ransacked the place.

While 35-year-old Watson owns the $4 million Encino home, he currently rents it out to a local elderly couple.

Officials say the men — at least one of whom had a gun — broke in through a back door and once inside, they handcuffed the couple and stole various items … including cash.

Lakers aware that the Kobe Bryant era is nearing its end

Here’s the Orange County Register reporting on a topic that will make us cry: That we don’t have a lot of time left to enjoy Kobe Bryant in the NBA. And the Lakers are very aware of this as they determine how to build their team for the future:

Lakers aware that the Kobe Bryant era is nearing its end

The days of the Lakers building a roster to satisfy the needs, and complement the style, of Kobe Bryant are gone.

Just three years removed from the blockbuster summer that brought Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to Los Angeles, one of the Lakers’ top basketball executives said circumstances have dictated that the organization change course.

“This team primarily has been Kobe’s team now for almost 18 or 20 years,” General Manager Mitch Kupchak said in a wide-ranging interview with media, “and we’re much closer to the end of those 18, 20 years than we are to the middle or the beginning. So at some point we have to start a new run.”

And while that will presumably include a 37-year-old Bryant next season, the Lakers are not simply planning on reloading this summer to make one more playoff push for the future Hall of Famer’s swan song.

Basketball blog