Since the NBA’s inception, only one trade and four other NBA transactions have occurred on Christmas Day. Thus, a slower evening of transaction news can be expected. However, a few notes in the Western Conference.
- Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News explains how the Lakers‘ commitment to re-signing Kobe Bryant and having max flexibility in next summer’s free agent market has allowed for the breakout performances of players such as Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson, and Nick Young. Medina also speculates what big free agent(s) the Lakers may pursue next summer as well as how they adjust to life beyond Kobe.
- Speaking of breakouts, Nick Young is hoping this season’s performance with the Lakers will provide his future with more financial stability like his former teammate John Wall was given this offseason. Young has played for 4 teams in the 3 years since he signed the Wizards’ qualifying offer on his rookie deal but hopes a team will provide him more security in the near future. He is currently playing for the veteran minimum and has a player option at the end of this season. Young told Michael Lee of The Washington Post that although this is not the security he hoped for, he is embracing playing for his hometown team and learning from one of basketball’s greatest – Kobe Bryant.
- Dwain Price of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram claims the jury is still out on the Mavericks three-year, $25MM free agent Monta Ellis but that early returns are encouraging. The NBA’s most improved player in 2007 signed with the Mavericks this past summer. Ellis is averaging 20.6 PPG and 5.9 APG this season.