Both the Clippers and the Lakers have a marquee player who'll be a free agent next summer, in Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, respectively. The teams also made a slew of offseason changes after finishing within a game of each other at the top of the Pacific Division standings and suffering playoff eliminations in the conference semifinals. The two Staples Center tenants seem to have a lot more in common than just an address as the 2012/13 season approaches, and we have news on Tinseltown's teams.
- We heard earlier today about Paul's influence on Matt Barnes' decision to sign with the Clippers, and Barnes told HoopsWorld's Yannis Koutroupis that it all started when he was at an open workout at the team's facility. Barnes was initially apprehensive, knowing the team already has Caron Butler and Grant Hill at small forward, but the Clippers kept pushing the idea, prompting Barnes to give it a go.
- The Lakers are leaning toward carrying just 14 players to start the regular season, according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. Andrew Goudelock and Darius Johnson-Odom, both of whom are non-guaranteed deals, are "longshots" to make the team, Bresnahan says. That would make Robert Sacre, whose deal is also non-guaranteed, the favorite for the 14th spot.
- Howard thinks the controversy surrounding him last year with the Magic played a role in his failure to win a fourth consecutive Defensive Player of the Year award, Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com writes.
- Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times checks in with Lamar Odom, who's trying to play himself into shape with the Clippers.