Archive for the ‘ Los Angeles Lakers Blog ’ Category

Lakers sign first round draft pick Julius Randle

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed Julius Randle, the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Randle will be available to play in today’s NBA Summer League game in Las Vegas against the New Orleans Pelicans at 1:30 p.m.

In his lone season at Kentucky, Randle appeared in 40 games (all starts) for the Wildcats, averaging 15.0 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 0.8 blocks in 30.8 minutes per game en route to being named the SEC Freshman of the Year in addition to being a First Team All-SEC, SEC All-Freshman and SEC All-Tournament Team selection.

The Dallas, TX native led the nation with 24 double-doubles and had seven games of scoring 20+ points in 2013-14. The 19-year-old led Kentucky to the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship game with consecutive double-doubles in Sweet 16 and Elite Eight victories before scoring 16 points with five rebounds against Wisconsin in the Final Four and notching 10 points with six rebounds and four assists in the final.

Here’s the Associated Press, via Philly.com, reporting the latest on veteran star forward Carmelo Anthony:

Knicks, Lakers among teams that want Carmelo Anthony

The Knicks went coast to coast to let Carmelo Anthony know they want him to stay in New York.

Team officials traveled to Los Angeles on Thursday night to meet with the free agent and offered him the maximum contract allowable, a person with knowledge of the details said.

Team President Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills were part of the meeting but not Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan, an official with knowledge of the plans told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details of the meeting were to remain private.

The meeting was first reported by ESPN.

Anthony was in Los Angeles to meet with the Lakers, who are among the teams hoping to convince the All-Star forward to leave New York. Anthony already visited Chicago, Houston and Dallas this week.

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting on some Pau Gasol free agency possibilities:

Lakers, Knicks could be Pau Gasol free agency possibilities

While free-agent forward Pau Gasol grew tired of the persistent trade rumors that followed him for the better part of the last three seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, he would give strong consideration to re-signing with the team, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

Gasol has strong ties to Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who has advocated for his return, and a deep affinity for Los Angeles and the franchise he won two NBA titles with. While the constant trade rumors stung, Gasol learned to live with them and has a level of expectation that a new coaching staff would prioritize him more than Mike D’Antoni did, sources said.

ESPN reported Friday that the New York Knicks are preparing to make a run at the 7-foot Spaniard who thrived in new Knicks president Phil Jackson’s triangle offense in L.A. The Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors are also expected to pursue Gasol in free agency, sources said.

However, Gasol may have to wait until free-agent forwards Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James make their decisions, as many of the teams with an interest in Gasol also have an interest in Anthony and James.

The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired the draft rights to Jordan Clarkson, selected 46th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, from the Washington Wizards in exchange for cash considerations, it was announced tonight by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Clarkson, a 6’5’’ junior guard from Missouri, was named Second Team All-SEC by the coaches in his lone season with the Tigers. An early entry candidate, Clarkson ranked among NCAA leaders in both free throws made (72nd) and percentage (101st), as well as field goals (51st) in 2013-14. The San Antonio, TX native spent his freshman and sophomore seasons at Tulsa, where he was selected First Team All-Conference USA in 2011-12, following his C-USA All-Freshman team honors in 2010-11.

Nick Young decides to become free agent

Nick Young decides to become free agent

The Los Angeles Lakers were informed today by agent Mark Bartelstein that his client Nick Young will not be exercising his option to extend his contract, making him a free agent.

“We anticipated and expected that Nick would choose to become a free agent,” said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak. “We very much appreciate his contributions to last season’s team, and we will hopefully be able to bring him back. However, he, his agent and the market will dictate his future direction.”

In 64 games (nine starts) during the 2013-14 season, his first with the Lakers, Young averaged a career-high 17.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 28.3 minutes per game. The Los Angeles native maintained the highest scoring average (18.8 points per game off the bench) for a reserve in the NBA and scored 40+ points as a member of the second unit two times.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the Lakers, who have many needs, one of which is a new head coach:

Lakers interested in Byron Scott for coaching job

While the Lakers remain focused on Thursday’s draft and the start of free agency July 1, sources tell ESPN.com that former Lakers star Byron Scott has emerged as the leading candidate for the head-coaching job after impressing in three interviews with the team.

Talks with the former Nets and Cavaliers coach have not progressed to the contract stage, as the Lakers continue to weigh whether to hold off on hiring a coach before they make their pitches to free agents.

Here’s the Los Angeles Times reporting that the Los Angeles Lakers have interest in Alvin Gentry, who has been around:

Alvin Gentry is a Lakers coaching candidate

Add Clippers associate head coach Alvin Gentry to the list of candidates the Lakers plan on interviewing for their head-coaching vacancy, The Times has learned.

After talking with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak by phone last Friday, Gentry has an interview with Kupchak and vice president Jim Buss on Wednesday to talk about replacing Mike D’Antoni, according to several NBA executives who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Gentry also has an interview for the head coaching opening with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, the executives said.

The Los Angeles Lakers need a new head coach. And veteran star Kobe Bryant wants his opinion to be heard as the team figures out who to hire. Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting:

Kobe Bryant wants Lakers to consult him on head coach hire

Bryant hopes the Lakers will sing a different tune than they have in the past when it comes to consulting him about hiring their next coach.

“On the last two they didn’t,” Bryant said, referring to Mike Brown and D’Antoni, who both failed to endure the length of the initial contracts they signed with the Lakers before parting ways. “On the third one, I’m hoping they do.”

Taking over for a legend like Phil Jackson is never easy, of course. Bryant said he still speaks to Jackson “often” and expects the 11-time championship winning coach to transfer those results to his front-office role with the New York Knicks.

“I think he’ll do fantastic,” Bryant said. “Especially the more people say that he won’t be successful.”

Bryant had similar faith in the Lakers’ brass, endorsing the efforts by Jackson’s fiancée and Lakers president, Jeanie Buss, as well as her brother and Lakers executive vice president of player personnel, Jim Buss, in steering the franchise in the right direction.

“Jimmy and Jeanie both, they’re just really determined and excited about the possibilities of next season and rebuilding this and building on their father’s legacy and everything that he’s accomplished,” Bryant said.

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on Steve Kerr:

Steve Kerr has multiple coaching job options

Steve Kerr is now the top candidate for three high-profile jobs, with the Golden State Warriors joining the Lakers as formidable competition for Phil Jackson and the Knicks.

According to a league source, Warriors owner Joe Lacob wants to hire Kerr to replace Mark Jackson, who was fired on Tuesday following three successful seasons as Golden State’s head coach. In fact, the Warriors wasted no time reaching out to Kerr, contacting him less than three hours after Jackson was dismissed. And a source maintains that the Warriors’ job is Kerr’s if he wants it.

The Knicks are still in play, but it is telling that Kerr — who met with Jackson 11 days ago in New York — has not made a decision, and that by delaying, two attractive jobs have become available.

Turning down Jackson in New York to coach Jackson’s former club in Los Angeles would be a stunning turn of events. The Warriors seem more logical since Kerr has several connections to the organization. He knows Lacob well and has a relationship with Lacob’s son Kirk, who works in Golden State’s front office. Kerr also worked with Warriors president Rick Welts in Phoenix.

The president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP resigned Thursday, following scrutiny of his plan to give Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling an award for promoting civil rights.

Leon Jenkins was to present Sterling with a “lifetime achievement award” later this month. Jenkins rescinded that offer Monday after a recording surfaced over the weekend on which Sterling disparaged black men.

In a letter to the national leader of the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, Jenkins wrote, “In order to separate the Los Angeles NAACP and the NAACP from the negative exposure I have caused the NAACP, I respectfully resign my position as President of the Los Angeles NAACP.”

– Associated Press

Mike D’Antoni has resigned as Head Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, it was announced today by Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Although no timetable has been established, the search for a replacement will begin immediately.

D’Antoni, who was hired by the Lakers to replace Mike Brown on November 12, 2012, had a 67-87 record in his two seasons with the team. He previously was head coach of the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks, and has a career record of 455-426.

“Given the circumstances, I don’t know that anybody could have done a better job than Mike did the past two seasons,” said Kupchak. “On behalf of the Lakers, we thank Mike for the work ethic, professionalism and positive attitude that he brought to the team every day. We wish him the best of luck.”

The Los Angeles Lakers have promoted Jim Perzik to Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs/Secretary, and have hired Dan Grigsby as General Counsel, replacing Perzik, it was announced today by team President Jeanie Buss. Grigsby joins the Lakers from the law firm of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell, where he was Partner and Chairman of the National Sports Law Group since 2004. He has worked as outside legal counsel for the Lakers at the firm, as well as when he previously worked at Arnold & Porter (2001-04), Blanc Williams Johnston & Kronstadt (1997-2001), Nossaman, Guthner, Knox & Elliott (1991-97) and Fine, Perzik & Friedman (1981-91). Grigsby graduated from UCLA in 1977 with a degree in political science, and received his law degree in 1981, graduating from the Whittier College School of Law. He passed the California State Bar Exam in May of 1981.

Perzik, who represented former Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss for 45 years, was intimately involved in the complicated acquisition of the team by Dr. Buss in 1979 when he purchased the Lakers, the Forum, the Los Angeles Kings hockey team and related properties from previous owner Jack Kent Cooke. In his new position, Perzik will continue to oversee the Lakers’ legal issues, including the development of the team’s new training facility and offices. In January 2015, he will decrease his office workload, but will continue to work with the team in a consulting capacity.

“Having worked with Dan as our outside legal representative for over 30 years, we’re very familiar and comfortable with him, and have the highest regard for him as both an attorney and person,” said Buss. “Jim has been a part of our Lakers family as well as an important member of our organization for many years,” continued Buss. “His contributions to our company and our success have been invaluable and greatly appreciated.”

Kobe Bryant begins new training routine

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting on veteran Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who maintains his competitive fire and is still being paid like a team-carrying superstar:

Kobe Bryant begins new training routine

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant began an intense six-month training program with an early-morning workout Monday, sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.

Bryant has been cleared for running and shooting as he returns from a broken bone in his left lateral tibial plateau that caused him to miss all but six games this season. He has been ramping up his activity level the last few weeks and was confident about pushing harder after receiving positive feedback during a consultation last week with the doctors in Germany who previously performed the platelet-rich plasma treatment known as Orthokine on his knees.

Bryant visited the doctors while he was in Europe on a short trip with his family last week, sources said.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the Los Angeles Lakers, general manager Mitch Kupchak, and aging veteran star Kobe Bryant:

Kobe Bryant looks to be having an excellent anniversary trip in Paris, judging by the photos posted on his wife’s Instagram account, but on the off chance he happened to be watching Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak’s 45-minute news conference Friday to close the worst season since the franchise moved to Los Angeles, there was something Kupchak really wanted him to understand.

“I’ve already used the word patience I think once or twice, so if [Bryant] is in Europe watching this, I’m sure he’s saying, ‘Why is Mitch using the word patience?’” Kupchak said. “He’s not the most patient person in the world. And that’s never going to change.

“Because of that, we’ve been to the Finals a bunch of times and we’ve won five championships. So, it’s hard to criticize him.

“We want the same thing. We both want to win as much and as soon as possible. But it takes an organization a long time to get in the position that we’re in where we have options financially going forward for the next year or two or three and we just have to make wise decisions using that space. If you don’t make a wise decision, then you can set yourself back 6-7 years, and we don’t want to do that.”

Lakers have big roster decisions to make

Here’s the Orange County Register reporting on the Lakers, who didn’t even come close to making the NBA playoffs this season, and face a challenging future:

The chants started midway through the fourth quarter, near the end of a rare Lakers blowout victory.

“Keep Gasol!” a motley group of a dozen or so out-of-place Lakers fans repeated rambunctiously Monday at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City.

Twenty rows down from the purple-and-gold revelers on the visitors’ bench, Pau Gasol sat in a trim brown suit. The pending free agent looked up, smiled and offered his Utah-based fan club a thumbs up.

A two-time champion, Gasol will be the face of the Lakers’ tough offseason decisions, but he is only the most high-profile of the Lakers who will find himself on the open market after the season concludes here Wednesday.

It’s likely that a majority of the players on the floor for the Lakers at the AT&T Center will be in their last game. So embrace it now: Nick Young’s celebrations after 3-pointers; Jodie Meeks’ calm and even play; Jordan Hill’s work on the offensive boards.

Only Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre have guaranteed contracts beyond this season.

xavier henry surgeries

Los Angeles Lakers guard Xavier Henry underwent successful surgeries today to repair both a torn ligament in his left wrist and the cartilage abnormality in his right knee. The wrist surgery was performed by Dr. Steve Shin and the knee surgery was performed by Dr. Steve Lombardo, both at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. Henry is expected to make a full recovery by the beginning of training camp.

In 43 games (five starts) this season, Henry averaged career-highs across-the-board with 10.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 21.1 minutes.

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting on the Lakers:

The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to a multiyear extension with general manager Mitch Kupchak.

The Lakers, in response to an ESPN.com report earlier Tuesday night, confirmed the new deal for Kupchak to reporters late in the fourth quarter of a 145-130 loss to the Houston Rockets.

Kupchak has presided over four NBA championships since succeeding Jerry West as the Lakers general manager in 2000. He has been with the organization since retiring as a player in 1986.

Details of Kupchak’s current contract have never been released, but he had at least another year on his current deal.

Here’s Lakers point guard Steve Nash dishing a pass that became the assist moving Nash above Mark Jackson into 3rd place on the NBA’s all-time total assists list:

Enjoy video highlights of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 30 years ago, hitting a skyhook to become the NBA all-time leading scorer:

Lakers buy land for new training center

The Los Angeles Lakers announced today that they have entered into an agreement with CDC Mar Campus, LLC for the purchase of an approximately five acre undeveloped portion of the development known as Elevon at Campus El Segundo located in El Segundo, CA.

The site is at the northwest corner of Mariposa Avenue and Douglas Street.

The site is intended to be the future home of a brand new training center for the Lakers and its Development League team, the Los Angeles D-Fenders.

The facility will also house the business operations offices for both teams.

The completion of the purchase is subject to various conditions, including the approval by the City of El Segundo of the proposed use of the property by the Lakers.

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