Lakers Notes: Sacre, Bryant, Gasol

The Cavaliers had talks with the Lakers this summer about the availability of center Robert Sacre, according to Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). He adds that there have been no recent trade discussions between the teams, although Cleveland’s need for frontcourt help increased this week with the announcement that Anderson Varejao will miss the rest of the season with an Achilles tear.

There’s other news from Los Angeles:

  • Concerns about Kobe Bryant‘s health are worsening, tweets Mike Bresnahan of The Los Angeles Times.  “My knees are sore… [both] my Achilles are sore,” the Lakers guard said Thursday. “Metatarsals are tight. Back’s tight. I just need to kind of hit the reset button.” Bryant sat out L.A.’s Christmas Day loss to the Bulls as well as Tuesday’s game with Golden State. The 36-year-old is making $23.5MM this year and is on the books for $25MM next season.
  • Coach Byron Scott said only “idiots” would suggest that the Lakers are a better team without Bryant, reports Steve Aschburner of NBA.com“We have one great game without Kobe and everybody thinks now we’re a better team or something like that,” Scott said, referring to Tuesday’s win over the Warriors.  “… But as far as all that [analytical] stuff goes, you know what? If I had my choice, I’d rather have him on the court for 48 minutes every time we played. I know we’d have a better chance to win.” Scott said Bryant could be out of action for up to a week.
  • The Bulls’ Pau Gasol said it was an emotional experience facing his former team Thursday, although Bryant’s absence took some of the drama away, reports Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News. Gasol spent six and a half seasons in Los Angeles and won two NBA titles before signing a three-year, $22.35MM deal with Chicago over the summer.

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