The plan is for Lakers coach Byron Scott to continue the player development strategies he’s using, Scott said Monday, according to Robert Morales of the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Scott revealed that he and GM Mitch Kupchak met recently about the issue, as Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News reported they likely would. Part of the team’s plan is to use Kobe Bryant as an example of the sort of work ethic they want their young players to adopt, as Morales details. The front office acknowledges the conflict between Bryant’s high usage and the need for young players to see minutes and touches. See more on the Lakers and other Pacific Division teams:
- Sources who spoke with Ken Berger of CBSSports.com are split on whether the homophobic slur Rajon Rondo directed at referee Bill Kennedy, who is gay, will dissuade teams from pushing to sign the point guard when he hits free agency again in the offseason. Multiple executives told Sean Deveney of The Sporting News before the controversy that Rondo was back in the discussion for a maximum-salary deal because of his strong early-season play. The 10th-year veteran who turns 30 in February signed a one-year contract for $9.5MM with the Kings this summer after a disastrous stint with Dallas last year. We made the topic of whether the incident will affect Rondo’s free agency the subject of our Community Shootaround discussion on Monday.
- Alex Len delivered a clunker of a performance in Monday’s game, but his play of late has otherwise been the best of his career, observes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. That’s led Suns coach Jeff Hornacek to continue starting Len over free agent signee Tyson Chandler, even though Chandler has been healthy the past two games. That’ll likely change, Hornacek concedes, as the team continues to look for a fit between Chandler, Len and offseason acquisitions Jon Leuer and Mirza Teletovic, Coro notes.
- Chandler, in the first season of a four-year, $52MM deal, is one of the most overpaid players in the NBA this season, Deveney argues in a slideshow. Two Lakers — Bryant and Roy Hibbert — and Lance Stephenson of the Clippers also make Deveney’s 15-man list.