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Lakers Rumors: World Peace, Huertas, Analytics

Former Laker Metta World Peace, whom the team has reportedly been considering signing again, told Mitch Abramson of The New York Daily News he is ready to return to the NBA. However, World Peace added that he hasn’t talked to Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak about rejoining the team, and that although his agent has been contacting teams throughout the league, there has been little interest. The 35-year-old last played in the NBA for the Knicks in 2013/14. “With my career being up and down,” he said, “some teams are like, ‘Can we use Metta World Peace, where is he going to fit in? Is he going to be good for the rookies? Can he still play?’ I’m still one of the best small forwards in the world so that’s not a question. But the question is can I actually fit into a team and can a coach coach me? Those are realistic questions and it’s cool.”

There’s more out of Los Angeles:

  • At age 32, Marcelo Huertas is looking forward to his first shot at the NBA with the Lakers, writes Eric Pincus of The Los Angeles Times. The Brazilian point guard signed a one-year deal with the team Wednesday and said he can help the Lakers with his “ability to control a team without having to score.” He will have to compete for a spot on the roster, as Los Angeles has 16 other players under contract, with 12 fully guaranteed and two partially guaranteed, plus a possible partially guaranteed deal for Robert Upshaw“I was under contract for the last six years and never had the chance to leave Europe without paying a big buyout,” Huertas said, “so this was the year I finished contract and I had a real chance to jump to the NBA.”
  • The move of Clay Moser to assistant coach/director of basketball strategy shows the Lakers are giving more weight to the analytic side of the game, according to Sam Amick of USA Today. Moser will team with assistant GM Glenn Carraro to form a bridge between the team’s analytics department and the coaching staff. Kupchak defended the organization’s maligned analytics performace. “The five people that we talked about who are in charge of accumulating, acquiring and interpreting the data, I feel they measure up to anybody in the league,” he said. “I would put them against anybody in the league … I would not hesitate to put our department in a debate with any other [analytics] department [of another team].”

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