Los Angeles Lakers – Hoops Rumors Legitimate NBA free agent and trade rumors. 2020-08-04T03:23:37Z https://www.hoopsrumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Luke Adams <![CDATA[Mike Budenholzer, Billy Donovan Win Coaches Association Award]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=167532 2020-08-03T16:37:33Z 2020-08-03T16:37:33Z Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer and Thunder head coach Billy Donovan have been voted the co-coaches of the year by the National Basketball Coaches Association, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

This award, introduced in 2017, isn’t the NBA’s official Coach of the Year award, which is voted on by media members and is represented by the Red Auerbach Trophy. The winner of that award is expected to be announced at some point during the postseason this summer.

The Coaches Association’s version of the award – named after longtime NBCA executive director Michael H. Goldberg – is voted on by the NBA’s 30 head coaches, none of whom can vote for himself.

Budenholzer, who also won the NBCA’s award in 2019, has had even more success with the East-leading Bucks this season. His team has a 54-13 record and – before the season was suspended – had been on pace to surpass the 60 victories that last year’s Milwaukee squad racked up.

As for Donovan, he has exceeded expectations with a Thunder team that was viewed as a borderline playoff contender and a candidate for a full-fledged rebuild. Instead of returning to the lottery following the offseason departures of Russell Westbrook and Paul George, Oklahoma City is 41-24, good for sixth in the Western Conference. A strong finish over the next couple weeks could result in a top-four record in the conference for the Thunder.

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, widely viewed as the favorite to win the official Coach of the Year award in 2020, was one vote away from finishing in a three-way tie with Budenholzer and Donovan, per Wojnarowski.

Sources tell ESPN that Taylor Jenkins (Grizzlies), Nate McMillan (Pacers), Erik Spoelstra (Heat), and Brad Stevens (Celtics), and Frank Vogel (Lakers) also received votes.

JD Shaw <![CDATA[Lakers Could Benefit From Keeping Anthony Davis Active]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=167471 2020-08-02T22:29:53Z 2020-08-02T20:28:52Z
  • Nuggets guard Troy Daniels discussed his time with the Lakers, his path to Denver and more in an interview with Mike Singer of the Denver Post. Daniels was waived by the Lakers on March 1 and signed with the Nuggets four days later. “Early in my years, my agent used to tell me, he said it’s always good to be wanted,” Daniels said. “It’s good to feel wanted, and I want to be where I’m wanted.”
  • The Lakers could benefit from keeping Anthony Davis active by ensuring that he gets plenty of shots, Anthony Slater of The Athletic writes. Davis scored just 14 points in the team’s loss against Toronto on Saturday, shooting just 2-of-7 from the field. However, he believes he made the right decisions based on how the Raptors were guarding him. “We didn’t shoot the ball extremely well tonight at all from the field or from 3, which kind of let them continue with their game plan of doubling me,” Davis said. “I think if we had made a couple of shots, then they would’ve definitely changed a little bit.” 
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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[New York Notes: Nets, Crawford, Thibodeau, Forbes List]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=167422 2020-08-02T22:08:04Z 2020-08-01T21:43:55Z The Nets were overmatched in their first reseeding game Friday against the Magic, and it’s a trend that will likely continue throughout their stay in Orlando, writes Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post. Brooklyn started out strong in the 128-118 loss, which dropped the team into eighth place in the East, but a lack of proven NBA talent was too much to overcome. The Nets are missing seven members of their regular roster.

    “We need to embrace that stuff a little bit,” coach Jacque Vaughn said. “We’ll have to be extremely gritty, put a body on someone every single possession. That gave us more than 40 opportunities to shoot 3s and when teams do that you have to make them pay.”

    There’s more on the New York teams:

    • Veteran guard Jamal Crawford was held out of Friday’s game and may not make his debut with the Nets tomorrow, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Crawford is listed as questionable for the contest with the Wizards because of conditioning issues. Brooklyn holds a six-game lead over Washington and can effectively clinch a playoff spot with a win.
    • Now that Tom Thibodeau is officially the new head coach of the Knicks, Jonathan Macri of Sports Illustrated looks at five of his former players who could potentially play for him in New York. He notes that when Thibodeau was hired in Minnesota, he brought in several of his ex-players from Chicago. In addition to Taj Gibson, who is already on New York’s roster and is waiting for the team to make a decision on his $9.5MM option for next season, Macri’s list includes D.J. Augustin, Zach LaVine, Jeff Teague and Dario Saric.
    • The Knicks are this year’s highest-valued NBA team on the annual list from Forbes. Despite seven straight losing seasons, the Knicks are third overall at $4.6 billion, trailing only the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees. The Lakers rank fourth at $4.4 billion and the Warriors are fifth at $4.3 billion.
    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Poll: Lakers Vs. Clippers]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=167310 2020-07-31T16:53:43Z 2020-07-31T16:53:43Z Following Thursday’s game at the NBA campus in Orlando, the Lakers and Clippers have now faced each other four times this season, with each team winning a pair of those games.

    Los Angeles’ teams are widely viewed as the top two contenders to make it out of the Western Conference and compete in the NBA Finals this fall. While a challenger like the Nuggets, Jazz, or Rockets could break up the all-L.A. party, the Lakers and Clippers are on track to play on opposite sides of the West bracket in the postseason, putting them on a collision course to meet in the Western Finals.

    Assuming the two L.A. teams do meet again in the playoffs and we haven’t seen the last of the LeBron James/Anthony Davis vs. Kawhi Leonard/Paul George showdowns of the 2019/20 season, we want to know what you expect to happen in a best-of-seven series between the Lakers and Clippers.

    The Lakers had the last word on Thursday night, as a last-minute LeBron put-back proved to be the game-winner in a 103-101 victory. But the Clippers were missing key players like Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell. The Clips were +16 in minutes that Leonard played, and having second-unit standouts like Williams and Harrell available could have made those non-Kawhi minutes more manageable.

    On the other hand, it’s not like we saw the Lakers at their best either. James and Davis combined to go 14-of-38 from the field, showing some rust after not playing real games in over four-and-a-half months. The club is also still experimenting with its summer rotation and will likely continue to do so until everyone – including the players who arrived in Orlando late – is up to full speed.

    Another point worth considering: The Lakers have all but clinched the No. 1 seed, but their lack of home court advantage over the Clippers at Walt Disney World may be even more meaningful in an all-L.A. series than it would be in other series — if every game were played at Staples Center, the Lakers might end up with a de facto home court advantage for the entire series, as their fans often show up en masse at Clippers “home” games. That won’t happen on a neutral court in Orlando.

    What do you think? After watching the Lakers and Clippers face each other four times this season, which team would you pick to win a seven-game postseason series? Do you fully expect the two L.A. teams to meet again in the playoffs, or will one of them falter before the Western Finals?

    Vote in our poll, then head to the comment section below to share your thoughts!

    Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[LeBron Was Upset About NBA's Handling Of China Dispute Last Fall]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=167202 2020-07-30T16:37:43Z 2020-07-30T16:37:43Z
  • Within an ESPN.com piece about the Lakers‘ unusual 2019/20 season, Dave McMenamin suggests that LeBron James wasn’t thrilled about Lakers players being asked last fall to address the NBA/China controversy before commissioner Adam Silver or Rockets GM Daryl Morey did. Morey’s tweet supporting Hong Kong protestors instigated that dispute between the league and its Chinese partners.
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    Jovan Alford <![CDATA[Davis Likely To Play Against Clippers]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=167166 2020-07-30T02:25:48Z 2020-07-30T02:25:48Z The Lakers and Clippers will play in the second game of Thursday’s “re-opening” night. However, both teams could be missing key players.

    According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell are listed as out on the status report, while Patrick Beverley is considered questionable for the Clippers (Twitter link). For the Lakers, Anthony Davis is listed as questionable, while LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are listed as probable and should play.

    Davis practiced on Wednesday with goggles on after being poked in the eye last week against the Magic. All signs point to the Lakers forward playing tomorrow night.

    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Anthony Davis Plans To Play On Thursday]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=167059 2020-07-29T22:14:47Z 2020-07-29T17:10:35Z Lakers big man Anthony Davis was a full participant at today’s practice and plans to be ready for the team’s first reseeding game Thursday against the Clippers, tweets Mike Trudell of Spectrum.

    Davis has been dealing with pain since being poked in his right eye during Saturday’s scrimmage. He was held out of the team’s final scrimmage Monday and missed practice Tuesday, but was feeling much better today. “The eye is getting better,” he said.

    Davis explained that light sensitivity was the main issue with the eye, tweets Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Team doctors will re-evaluate his condition tonight before making a final decision (Twitter link). Davis didn’t suffer a concussion or any type of serious head injury, adds Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register (Twitter link).

    At today’s practice, Davis was sporting protective eyewear to make sure the eye didn’t suffer any further damage, Bontemps tweets. Davis doesn’t expect to need it for games, but he wanted to be accustomed to it in case he does.

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Anthony Davis’ Status For Thursday TBD]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166949 2020-07-28T16:33:33Z 2020-07-28T16:33:33Z After sitting out of the Lakers‘ third and final scrimmage on Monday, star forward/center Anthony Davis also missed the team’s practice on Tuesday, tweets Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times.

    Head coach Frank Vogel told reporters on a Zoom call that Davis is feeling discomfort in his right eye and will be re-evaluated on Wednesday (Twitter link via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin). His status for Thursday’s showdown with the Clippers remains up in the air, according to the Lakers’ coach.

    “There is some concern that he potentially will not play Thursday, but we’re hopeful that he does,” Vogel said of Davis.

    The Lakers open the summer schedule with a 5.5-game lead on the Clippers for the Western Conference, so Thursday’s game isn’t insignificant. If the Lakers win it, they’ll essentially lock up the No. 1 spot in the West. Of course, even if the Lakers drop that game, they’ll still have a fairly comfortable 4.5-game cushion with seven games left to play, so the team won’t rush AD back if he’s not 100%.

    If Davis is unable to go, Kyle Kuzma looks like the most logical candidate to take his place in the starting five.

    After Thursday, the Lakers have games on tap with the Raptors on Saturday, Utah on Monday, and Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Financial Effects Of Pandemic Likely To Impact NBA Offseason]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166883 2020-07-27T20:55:05Z 2020-07-27T20:55:05Z A number of team owners around the NBA are feeling the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com writes. Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, for instance, has seen business fall off precipitously at his restaurants, hotels, and casinos, while Heat owner Micky Arison has had to temporarily shut down his Carnival Cruise Lines.

    While some team owners have been hit harder than others by the effects of COVID-19, there’s an expectation that the pandemic will have a league-wide impact on spending this offseason, as Windhorst writes. Some teams may have to make difficult financial decisions that could result in unexpected player movement.

    “With few exceptions, no one wants to make long-term commitments right now,” one general manager told ESPN. “You can already feel it coming.”

    In addition to the teams that may feel pressure to dump pricey contracts or avoid expensive free agent commitments, some clubs may face financial constraints in the draft. Although selling second-round draft picks remains fairly common, no NBA team has sold a first-round pick since the Nuggets did so with the No. 27 selection in the 2013 draft, according to Windhorst. Some people around the league believe that teams will consider the possibility again in 2020.

    “I suspect first-round picks will be for sale in this draft,” a team executive said. “We haven’t really seen that in a decade.”

    Here are a few more noteworthy details and quotes from Windhorst’s examination of NBA teams’ finances:

    • Warriors owner Joe Lacob has told his fellow owners that he’s exploring a deal with Goldman Sachs to raise up to $250MM to manage expenses, per Windhorst. Sources tell ESPN that other team owners are considering ways to raise capital as well, with some – including the Rockets – pursuing legal action against companies that have denied coronavirus-related insurance claims.
    • Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta recently took out a $300MM loan and is more leveraged than many other owners, since he purchased the franchise fairly recently, but he continues to insist he’s not looking to sell any shares in the team. Brokers who have approached him representing potential bidders have been told the same, reports Windhorst.
    • Nets owner Joseph Tsai recently sold about 25% of his shares in tech company Alibaba, according to Windhorst. Other owners might not have similar opportunities to raise capital. “I don’t know what will happen, but I may lose $50MM next season,” one owner told Windhorst. “If that happens, I have three options: I could borrow the money, I could sell part of the team or I could do a cash call and me and my partners would have to write checks.”
    • NBA rules allow team owners to borrow $325MM against the equity in their franchises. A majority of NBA teams – including the Warriors – have maxed out that credit, sources tell Windhorst.
    • Although the Buss family’s pockets aren’t as deep as some of their fellow owners, the Lakers bring in about $200MM annually from their local TV deal and aren’t expected to have any issues re-signing Anthony Davis, writes Windhorst.
    JD Shaw <![CDATA[Pacific Notes: Kuzma, Barnes, Waiters, Okobo]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166786 2020-07-27T03:08:48Z 2020-07-26T21:51:58Z The NBA’s four-month hiatus may have helped Kyle Kuzma rediscover his jumpshot at a much-needed time, Bill Oram of The Athletic writes. Kuzma poured in 25 points off the bench in the Lakers’ scrimmage win against Orlando on Saturday, shooting 10-of-13 from the field and 5-of-7 from deep.

    Since arriving in Orlando, much of the talk surrounding the Lakers has been about Kuzma’s impressive play, Oram notes. This includes both scrimmages and team practices.

    “What he did today,” coach Frank Vogel said, “he did all through our ‘restart training camp’ so to speak. I’m just really excited about what the restart is going to look like for him.”

    Kuzma’s role has been cut back with several veterans joining the team over the past year. He’s averaging a career-low 12.5 points in 24.6 minutes per game, with his shooting marks also declining (43% from the field and 30% from behind-the-arc on the campaign).

    The Lakers will rely on Kuzma’s production off the bench despite his reduced role, needing all hands on deck to successfully compete against deep Western Conference teams such as the Clippers, Rockets and Nuggets in the postseason.

    Here are some other notes out of the Pacific Division today:

    • Kings forward Harrison Barnes never experienced any symptoms while dealing with COVID-19, head coach Luke Walton said, according to Jason Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link). Barnes could play in the team’s scrimmage against the Clippers on Monday, Walton added. He’s averaging 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 34.9 minutes this season for Sacramento.
    • Veteran guard Dion Waiters has mostly had a soft landing with the Lakers in Orlando, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register writes. Waiters scored 12 points off the bench in the team’s scrimmage on Saturday, shooting 5-of-9 from the field. “Here, it’s like it’s different, man,” Waiters said. “It’s a vibe. Everybody’s just positive. We got our own slang and things like that going on. … It makes you feel good though. You’re excited.”
    • Suns guard Elie Okobo has arrived in Orlando but wasn’t available for the team’s scrimmage against Boston on Sunday, Gina Mizell of The Athletic tweets. Phoenix is slated to play one more scrimmage on Tuesday before re-opening its regular season against Washington on Friday. It’s unclear whether Okobo, who likely must go through quarantine, will be available for those contests.
    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Anthony Davis Day To Day; Waiters Discusses Being With LeBron Again]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166700 2020-07-26T21:55:51Z 2020-07-25T21:32:02Z
  • Anthony Davis is considered day-to-day after being poked in the right eye during today’s scrimmage, Lakers coach Frank Vogel tells Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter link). L.A. has one more scrimmage Monday before starting its seeding games Thursday against the Clippers.
  • Lakers guard Dion Waiters discussed the difference between playing alongside LeBron James now compared to when they were teammates in Cleveland six years ago, McMenamin tweets. “When you’re young, you’re still trying to find yourself coming into the league,” Waiters said. “I think Bron was trying to help me with that, but I was so stubborn back then. But I understand now. I’m 28. I’ve been through a lot. I’m at peace with myself, though.”
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Bam Adebayo, Kendrick Nunn, Markieff Morris Clear Quarantine]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166470 2020-07-23T19:35:20Z 2020-07-23T19:35:20Z Three more players have cleared quarantine at the NBA campus and are free to join their respective teams for practices. Heat big man Bam Adebayo, Heat guard Kendrick Nunn, and Lakers forward Markieff Morris have all returned the necessary two negative coronavirus tests after arriving at Walt Disney World on Tuesday, according to reports.

    Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press, who confirmed (via Twitter) that Adebayo and Nunn are out of quarantine, tweets that the plan is for the two Miami starters to conduct individual workouts today. The Heat will resume practicing on Friday before participating in their second inter-squad scrimmage on Saturday, against the Jazz.

    It remains to be seen whether Adebayo and Nunn will be ready to go in time for either one of the Heat’s upcoming scrimmages, but with both players set to return to practice, they should be ready to go when the club plays the first of its eight seeding games on August 1 vs. Denver.

    As for Morris, Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times reported (via Twitter) that he has cleared quarantine. The veteran forward, of course, won’t be available for the Lakers during tonight’s inter-squad scrimmage against Dallas, but figures to return to L.A.’s rotation soon.

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Caruso Skips Sister's Wedding To Remain On NBA Campus]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166383 2020-07-22T17:21:59Z 2020-07-22T17:21:59Z
  • Lakers guard Alex Caruso made the difficult decision to skip his sister’s wedding on July 18, since he may have been subject to a quarantine period of 10 days upon returning to Orlando. Zach Lowe of ESPN has the story, along with quotes from Caruso.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Markieff Morris Close To Joining Lakers In Orlando]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166206 2020-07-21T14:32:03Z 2020-07-21T14:32:03Z According to Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register (Twitter link), Clippers forward Marcus Morris is at the team’s Tuesday morning practice today, having reported to the campus and cleared his quarantine period. His twin brother Markieff Morris will be joining the Lakers soon, Marcus tells Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link). Dave McMenamin of ESPN tweets that Markieff is expected to arrive at the campus today and will begin his initial quarantine.

    Mark Suleymanov <![CDATA[J.R. Smith Talks Changes In LeBron James]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=165965 2020-07-18T17:42:08Z 2020-07-18T17:15:00Z As the Lakers prepare to contend for a title at the NBA campus in Orlando, J.R. Smith will try to help L.A. after joining the team in early July. Although Smith has not played in over a year, he brings championship experience and an ability to score.

    Specifically, Smith’s title pedigree comes from his time as a teammate with LeBron James in Cleveland when the organization captured its first title in 2016. Smith played a crucial role in guiding the Cavaliers to a championship behind James and now, reunited with a different team, the former Sixth Man of the Year sees a change in his former and current teammate.

    “Before, he’s always been so focused on his drive and winning and stuff like that, but I feel like that pressure is off his shoulders, and he can just be him,” Smith said, per Spectrum’s Mike Trudell (Twitter link). “He don’t have to try to orchestrate the offense or the defense or what somebody did wrong, he can let the coaches do their job, and I think that’s a true testament to him growing.”

    Smith, 34, joins the Lakers in a much different role than the last time he was teammates with James, but with the same goal — winning a championship. The Lakers will need to rely on steady play from their bench and the usual strong performance from James. Smith views an older, more experienced LeBron as more than capable of delegating to others on the team.

    “I’ve watched interviews when people try to say he’s not coachable because he knows so much about the game, but he’s probably the most coachable person out there just because he gives you his side or his opinion and he might be right,” Smith said. “More than anything I just think he’s so much more patient in his delivery and how he goes about the process of the game.”