When I asked earlier this month whether the Lakers would make the postseason, the votes were nearly split, with just over 51% of you predicting that the club would end up on the outside looking in. In the two weeks since I published that poll, the Lakers have gone just 2-6, and I'd guess if I asked the same question about the team's playoff chances today, the results would lean even more heavily to the Lakers as a lottery team. As the club looks to find a way out of its most recent spiral, let's check in on a few notes out of L.A….
- Metta World Peace could become a free agent this summer if he turns down his 2013/14 player option, but he doesn't intend on going anywhere, as he tells Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times: "I want to stay here the rest of my career [and] get past this adversity. I want to finish as a Laker."
- The latest lineup change in L.A. involves Pau Gasol coming off the bench, a role he's not thrilled with, according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. Still, Pau wants to remain a Laker: "I feel like I'm a part of this team and part of this franchise. I love to play here for as many years as possible because I identify myself with the team. I want it to work."
- Kobe Bryant spoke to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports about the Lakers' current struggles.
- Following up on Mark Cuban's comments about teams with high payrolls and long losing streaks being more inclined to deal as the deadline approaches, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News wonders if the Mavericks might approach the Lakers about acquiring Dwight Howard. However, Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld hears from Lakers sources that trading Howard isn't an option the team is currently considering.
- We recently heard that the Lakers inquired on the Timberwolves' Dante Cunningham, but according to Kyler, Cunningham was just one of a number of players the Lakers have checked in on.