The winds of change appear to be traveling in the direction of Los Angeles this summer, especially after the conclusion of a disappointing injury-riddled season for the Lakers and a first-round playoff collapse by the Clippers. Both teams will certainly have significant decisions to make this summer as they look to regroup and come back strong in 2013-14, and coincidentally, it starts with determining the futures of their respective franchise players. We've got a few rumblings to share from each camp as we inch closer to the NBA offseason:
- When asked if Dwight Howard might try to force Mike D'Antoni out of Los Angeles, Steve Kyler of Hoopsworld (via Twitter) says that the soon-to-be free agent doesn't want to be involved in dictating the job security of the Lakers' coach. As for the player option of Jodie Meeks and the possibility of re-signing Earl Clark, Kyler points to the priority of determining Howard's future before taking care of anything else.
- Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles hears that Chauncey Billups would like to return to the Clippers next season, adding that he's feeling as good as he's felt in two years: "I would love to be back here and continue to help in this process…I feel like we are getting closer. I definitely want to be a part of it and I'll be able to show everybody who I've always been with a summer of getting myself together, so hopefully it works out like that."
- Billups also says that his goal is to play two more seasons and briefly touched upon his desire to be invovled in an NBA front office instead of coaching once his playing career is over.
- Though there were hints about Grant Hill's plans to retire after this season, Markazi writes that Hill could come back for another year if he feels healthy enough. Hill is currently under contract for about $2MM for 2013-14.
- Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles tweets that there's no truth to the rumor which suggests that Chris Paul will be leaving his agent Leon Rose for Rich Paul, who currently represents LeBron James and Clippers teammate Eric Bledsoe among others.