As the Lakers prepare to host a New Year’s Eve contest against the Bucks, let’s check in on the latest items on Los Angeles’ two NBA teams….
- Following up on ESPN’s report that the Lakers and Cavs have discussed a trade centered around Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com writes that such a move would represent a “fundamental shift in [the Lakers’] competitive and financial DNA.” Rival executives are dubious that the Lakers would really make a drastic cost-cutting move, and Berger doesn’t believe it would benefit the team in the short- or long-term, though I think he may be underselling the benefit of getting out of the tax this season — in that scenario, the Lakers could be a tax team again by 2015/16 and avoid paying the repeater penalty.
- For what it’s worth, the early returns on Hoops Rumors’ poll today suggest many of our readers believe the Lakers‘ best strategy for Gasol involves a salary-dump trade.
- In his list of potential fits for Bynum, ESPN.com’s Amin Elhassan (Insider link) classifies the Clippers as strong contenders, and doesn’t mention the Lakers. Of course, Elhassan’s piece is focusing more on logical on-court destinations for Bynum, rather than the best trade partners for the Cavs.
- In a separate ESPN Insider piece, Tom Haberstroh writes that the Lakers should embrace 2014’s Tankapalooza.
- Terrence Williams‘ D-League team will be the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the Lakers‘ affiliate, according to Gino Pilato of D-League Digest. Williams, who played for the Celtics last season, signed to play in Turkey this year, but returned stateside in November for family reasons.
- Eric Bledsoe spoke to Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com about returning to the Staples Center to face the Clippers for the first time as a Sun. Doc Rivers discussed Bledsoe as well, referring to the three-way trade involving the Clippers and Suns as a deal that should ultimately help both clubs.
- More Rivers on Bledsoe: “He was ready to be a starter. There’s no doubt about it. We really only had one talk and I talked to his representatives, and they made that very clear. If it wasn’t starting, it was playing a lot of minutes. That could have happened here. I just didn’t know if it was going to happen here, and I didn’t know if he would be happy or not. I think he would have handled it, but it would have been no fun.”