Both Los Angeles teams will be in action tonight on TNT, looking to extend their respective winning streaks to three games. The Clippers will be in Minnesota to face the reeling Timberwolves in the early game, while the Lakers host the Eastern-Conference-leading Heat in the late game. As we look forward to those contests, here are the latest links out of L.A.:
- Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak would prefer to exercise patience with the team's roster and sounds skeptical about the possibility of a trade, according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. "We don't have many options," Kupchak said Wednesday. "It's not like we're going to be active or overly active in the trade market."
- Because of the early-season coaching change and the numerous injuries the team has suffered, it's not fair to say the Lakers' roster needs to blown up, according to Kupchak. "If everybody had been together and coach [Mike] D’Antoni had been here from day one and Steve Nash hadn’t gotten injured and our record still was what it is today, then that’d be a different story," Kupchak said, according to Medina. "Then you have to look in the mirror and say the team we put together is not good enough."
- Chris Paul's recent knee injury has given Eric Bledsoe the chance to start for the Clippers, providing the sort of starring-role opportunity many rival teams were hoping to see, writes Sam Amick of USA Today. The Clippers are unlikely to consider trades for Bledsoe in part due to concerns about how it would affect team chemistry, but the 23-year-old's recent boost in playing time could serve as a sort of audition for clubs that intend to pursue him down the road.
- According to Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida (Sulia link), Andre Miller is skeptical that Kobe Bryant will really retire when his current contract expires in 2014, as Kobe has suggested a few times.