Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak met separately with both coach Mike D’Antoni and vice president of player personnel Jim Buss to discuss the state of the team following their embarrassing loss to the Clippers on Thursday night, a team source tells Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. The front office still desires to stick with D’Antoni and see how the team responds going forward, says Shelburne. D’Antoni’s job has appeared safe all season, although Shelburne earlier divulged that his status beyond next season, when his contract expires, is on shaky ground. We’ll see if chatter surrounding his job increases as the offseason approaches. Here’s more from Los Angeles:
- D’Antoni said the meeting in question wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, per Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link).
- Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times says it makes no sense for the Lakers to part with D’Antoni before his contract expires after next year. Bolch argues that the Lakers should ride out another lackluster season and rethink their coaching situation in 2015, when they stand a better chance of landing a difference-maker in free agency to complement their upcoming draft selection.
- In a 5-on-5 post for ESPN, J.A. Adande, Chris Broussard, Israel Gutierrez, Marc Stein, and Ethan Sherwood Strauss all think the Lakers should target 2015 as the best opportunity to reload for title contention, not this summer.
- Jabari Davis of Basketball Insiders takes a look at the Lakers options regarding Steve Nash and the stretch provision, pointing out that the team has the freedom to make their decision after the free agency dominoes have fallen in 2014. If the Lakers don’t end up in need of cap space for next season, it may be more prudent to keep Nash and absorb his contract rather than waiving him and extending the salary hit into 2015.
- Matt Barnes was in a few trade rumors last month, but he remained with the Clippers through the deadline and has been playing remarkably well ever since. Barnes is intent on staying with the team and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times wonders if the 11th-year forward is trying to prove a point to the Clippers front office.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.