The Lakers picked up a rare with Thursday night, but it cost them in the Reverse Standings, where they’re four games back of the No. 2 position. They have to finish with either the worst or second-worst record in the league to assure themselves of retaining their first-round pick this year, which goes to the Suns if it falls out of the top five. The Lakers currently sit fourth in the order, but if a couple of other teams get lucky in the lottery, that would bump L.A. out of the pick’s protected range. There’s more on next year for the purple-and-gold amid the latest from the Pacific Division:
- Kobe Bryant confirms that he plans to return next season and be ready to take part in Lakers training camp, as he told Baxter Holmes of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Bryant admitted shortly before he tore his rotator cuff that he had considered retiring after this season. Recovery from the injury is supposed to keep him out for nine months, which would force him to miss nearly all of the 2015/16 preseason.
- The Warriors like what they see in James McAdoo and hope that he’s a part of the team’s future, coach Steve Kerr says, as Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group tweets. Golden State nonetheless appears to have opted against re-signing McAdoo for now, since he rejoined the team’s D-League affiliate Thursday following the expiration of his 10-day contract with the big club.
- Israel’s Maccabi Ashdod has decided to release former lottery pick Terrence Williams, sources tell David Pick of Basketball Insiders. Williams worked out for the Kings in July and again in late October. He’s in talks with teams from Puerto Rico and the Philippines, Pick hears.