Los Angeles Lakers Rumors

Western Notes: Kings, Mavs, Robinson III

September 18 at 8:59pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Kings aren’t done tinkering with their roster, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee writes. Despite signing Darren Collison GM Pete D’Alessandro would still like to add another ballhandler into the mix. Jones also believes the franchise should be concerned about not having a second round pick in next year’s draft since those selections are growing increasingly valuable, as they allow teams to add young players at lower salaries to their rosters.

Here’s the latest from out west:

  • Alonzo Gee is still expected to be waived by the Kings prior to the start of training camp after he was acquired along with Scotty Hopson in the deal that sent Jason Terry to the Rockets. Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio thinks that there is a good chance that Gee ends up in training camp with the Lakers since Coach Byron Scott was a fan of the player during their time together in Cleveland.
  • The Wolves have guaranteed $250K of Glenn Robinson III‘s minimum salary deal, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link).
  • After the Cavaliers, the team that has done the most to improve themselves this summer is the Mavericks, the staff at Basketball Insiders write in their season preview. They were divided on how Dallas would fare this upcoming season, with the predictions ranging from the team finishing second to ending the season fourth in the Southwest Division.
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/09/17/6716192/kings-offseason-moves-will-continue.html#storylink=cpy

Ryan Hollins Signs With Kings

September 18 at 3:28pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

THURSDAY, 3:28pm: The deal is official, the team announced.

WEDNESDAY, 7:13pm: Ryan Hollins has agreed to a deal to sign with the Kings, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). Exact contract details aren’t yet known, but it is a one-year, fully-guaranteed deal according to Spears. The Lakers, Bulls, Heat, and Spurs had also expressed interest in the twenty nine year-old seven-footer out of UCLA. This will bring Sacramento’s preseason roster count to 19.

As for what he brings to Sacramento, Hollins will compete with Reggie Evans and Sim Bhullar for minutes as DeMarcus Cousins‘ backup. He offers the Kings high-percentage shooting, defense, and rim protection, as Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors points out in his Free Agent Stock Watch article on the veteran center.

Hollins spent last season with the Clippers, where he appeared in 61 contests, averaging 2.3 PPG and 1.5 RPG. His slash line was .736/.000/.625. In eight seasons in the NBA, Hollins’ career numbers are 3.8 PPG and 2.2 RPG.

Pacific Notes: Boozer, Kings, Dragic

September 18 at 10:35am CDT By Zach Links

Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News continued his look at the Lakers‘ depth chart today with a breakdown of offseason acquisition Carlos Boozer. The Lakers have Boozer for a bargain – just $3.25MM – but there are looming questions about his intensity on defense and whether he can handle a possibly fluctuating role. Here’s more out of the Pacific Division..

  • Even after an offseason of tinkering, the Kings probably aren’t done making moves, writes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee.  Between Reggie Evans, Jason Thompson, and Carl Landry, the Kings are paying nearly $14MM for players who don’t fit in their long-range plans.  Instead, the Kings would like to find a player who can come in, hold down the power forward position, and allow the team to cut salary.
  • If the Suns give a max contract to anyone, it should be to Goran Dragic, not Eric Bledsoe, opines Bob Young of The Arizona Republic.  In Young’s view, the Suns’ four-year, $48MM offer to Bledsoe is reasonable and that kind of contract would give them enough breathing room to retain Dragic long-term.  If Bledsoe opts to instead sign the qualifying offer, Young wouldn’t mind seeing a future with Dragic as the team leader alongside Isaiah Thomas with Archie Goodwin and draft pick Tyler Ennis in reserve.
  • Guard Zoran Dragic likes his current situation overseas but still pines to play in the NBA, where he is being targeted by the Suns and other clubs.  “I am here preparing the season with Malaga.  But if I have the chance to go the NBA my desire is to go,” said Dragic to La Opinion de Malaga (translation courtesy of Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). “I think that the best option for me is to go the NBA now because I don’t want to lose one year.  I think I am ready to play in the NBA but the truth is that I don’t know anything about the NBA at the moment.  My heart is with Unicaja.

James Nunnally To Play In Spain

September 17 at 9:16am CDT By Chuck Myron

Former Hawks and Sixers small forward James Nunnally has signed with Estudiantes of Spain, the Spanish ACB league announced (on Twitter; translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). The terms are unclear, but that presumably takes him out of the running to join an NBA team for training camp. The 24-year-old was reportedly one of a handful of players to work out for the Lakers last week.

Nunnally signed a pair of 10-day contracts with both Atlanta and Philadelphia last year, as our 10-Day Tracker shows, but neither team followed with a contract that covered the rest of 2013/14. He averaged 3.4 points in 12.7 minutes per game in the 13 NBA contests in which he appeared last season, but he saw more extensive action in the D-League, just as he did in 2012/13, his first season as a pro after he went undrafted out of UC Santa Barbara in 2012. Still, he’s consistently remained on the NBA radar, having worked out earlier in the offseason for the Warriors and Jazz and having spent time with the Pacers, Heat and Mavs during summer league this year. He was a widely sought-after camp invitee last fall before he finally chose to spend the preseason with the Suns.

Heading to Spain will make it more difficult for NBA scouts and executives to keep tabs on his game, but he certainly won’t vanish from their sights, given the strength of the ACB league. Nunnally joins Ryan Gomes, Orlando Johnson, Tornike Shengelia and Dwight Buycks among the players who found deals in the ACB league after appearing in the NBA last season.

Western Notes: Terry, Papanikolaou, Lakers

September 16 at 8:56pm CDT By Alex Lee

With a few weeks until training camps begin, here is the latest news coming out of the Western Conference on Tuesday evening:

  • Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Rocketsdeal for Jason Terry will be completed tomorrow (via Twitter). The trade, which will send Terry to Houston and Alonzo Gee and Scotty Hopson to Sacramento, was originally agreed to on August 31st. There was a report yesterday that it would be finalized today, so we should expect an official announcement shortly.
  • Feigen also expects the signing of Kostas Papanikolaou to become official this week, though he cautions that his buyout ($1.5MM) and the necessary FIBA approval make it a little unpredictable (Twitter link). Papanikolaou’s first-year salary of just under $4.8MM is the most ever given to a second-round pick in his first NBA season.
  • The Lakers announced today that Paul Pressey, Jim Eyen and Mark Madsen will join Byron Scott on the Los Angeles bench as assistant coaches this season. Beyond that trio, the team also announced Clay Moser, Larry Lewis, Tom Bialaszewski and J.J. Outlaw as members of the staff. Rondre Jackson has been promoted to director of player development and Jordan Wilkes has been hired as an operations assistant, according to the team release.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Rush, Jeter, Terry, Wizards

September 15 at 10:35pm CDT By Cray Allred

After a difficult 2013/14 season in which he was granted sporadic playing time while returning from knee surgery in Utah, Brandon Rush tells Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle that he’s feeling positive about his upcoming season with the Warriors. “This is a great situation for me to be able to come back and to be with a winning team,” said Rush. “I’m just going to try to help the team out with little things: rebounding, shooting and playing defense. I’m in a good mood. My head is in on straight. I’m happy with where I’m at…Coming back [to Golden State] was a no-brainer.” Here’s more from around the league:

  • Pooh Jeter has no intentions of leaving his Chinese team, despite having a workout lined up with the Lakers, as he tells Hupu (translation via Enea Trapani of Sportando).
  • Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders expects the deal in place between the Rockets and Kings, which will send Jason Terry to Houston and Alonzo Gee and Scotty Hopson to Sacramento, will finally transpire within the next 24 hours (Twitter link). Pincus does not expect the Kings to retain either Gee or Hopson, whose contracts are non-guaranteed. The teams initially struck an unofficial agreement on August 31.
  • The Wizards are still working out additional players to bring to camp, tweets J. Michael of CSNWashington.com. Washington will have 16 of the maximum 20 contracts on the books for training camp after the new additions of Xavier Silas and Damion James.
  • Brett Koremenos of RealGM looks at the careers of Milos Teodosic, Ante Tomic, and Emir Preldzic, three players caught in the “limbo” between European starring roles and NBA backup spots. While these players shine in international play, their advanced age, on-court shortcomings, and comfort level overseas are barriers to their likehood of signing in the NBA.

Multiple Teams Interested In Ryan Hollins

September 15 at 6:09pm CDT By Cray Allred

Free agent Ryan Hollins has had contract talks with the Lakers, Kings, Bulls, and Spurs as a potential signing, the center told SiriusXM NBA Radio (transcription via Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times). The seven-footer has also been in talks with the Heat, the only team previously linked to his services this summer.

Aside from the Kings and Spurs, each of the teams considering Hollins as an addition are limited to offering the minimum salary. It would be shocking for Sacramento to exercise their biannual exception to spend more than the minimum, however, since the team has been working to stay beneath the luxury tax line for 2014/15. Hollins’ name is among a handful of big men drawing interest from many of the same teams looking to fill out their frontcourt depth. Gustavo Ayon and Emeka Okafor are other frontcourt pieces generating interest from overlapping teams, but an overseas commitment and injury concerns make the paths for both to land on an NBA team more complicated than that of Hollins, respectively.

It’s unclear if Hollins is close to reaching an agreement for guaranteed money, or if he’s facing the prospect of competing through training camp on a non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed contract. While unspectacular, Hollins is a proven commodity, playing a very specific and useful role, as Chuck Myron detailed in our Free Agent Stock Watch article on the veteran center. The Stealth Sports client has career averages of 3.8 PPG and 2.2 RPG.

And-Ones: Lakers, Bosh, Collier

September 13 at 12:47pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Kobe Bryant will return to the Lakers starting five this season, but his supporting cast hasn’t improved much. In his pre-season rankings, Adi Joseph of USA Today predicts that Los Angeles will take a step back in the win column, and finish with a record of 22-60 and end up in the NBA Draft Lottery for the second-straight year.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Undrafted free agent Devon Collier turned down an NBA camp invitation to accept a deal with Israeli team Bnei Herzliya, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM.
  • Now that LeBron James is in Cleveland and Chris Bosh has become the highest-paid player with the longest contract on the Heat, it’s time for him to become a more vocal locker room voice, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes.
  • Alessandro Oliveira has joined the Nets as assistant trainer, replacing Nixon Dorvilien, who followed Jason Kidd to the Bucks, the team announced (twitter link).

Cray Allred contributed to this post.

Lakers Work Out Five Players

September 13 at 11:28am CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Lakers held workouts this past Wednesday for five players, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reports (Twitter link). Displaying their wares in Los Angeles were Pooh Jeter, Ronnie Price, Wayne Ellington, Jeremy Tyler, and James Nunnally, according to Carchia’s sources. The Lakers currently have 15 players on their pre-season roster, with 13 of those contracts being guaranteed.

The 5’11″, thirty year-old Jeter, played one season in the NBA with the Kings back in 2010/11, and he averaged 4.1 PPG and 2.6 APG. Jeter was reportedly drawing interest from some NBA teams back in March of this year for a possible 10-day contract. With Steve Nash‘s health a question, the team could be looking to add another body behind Jeremy Lin, Roscoe Smith, and Jordan Clarkson.

Price also falls into this possibility, and the 6’2″, thirty-one year-old would provide a bit more NBA experience than Jeter. Price has been in the league for nine seasons, and has career averages of 3.4 PPG, 1.1 RPG, and 1.5 APG. He spent last season with the Magic, and was waived by Orlando in July just prior to his salary becoming guaranteed.

Ellington would provide depth behind Kobe Bryant and compete with Xavier Henry for backup duties. The 6’4″, twenty-six year-old has career numbers of 6.4 PPG, 1.8 RPG, and 1.0 APG. Ellington has been involved in two trades this offseason, and was waived by the Kings last week. Ellington would provide more upside than Jeter or Price, but he hasn’t shown he is capable of handling primary ball-handling duties, which might be a more pressing need for the Lakers.

Tyler, who was also a part of one of the deals involving Ellington, and Nunnally would bolster the Lakers frontcourt. Tyler is more of a power forward than a center, which is already a crowded position with Carlos Boozer, Julius Randle, Ed Davis, and Ryan Kelly being on the roster. This would make Nunnally more of a fit backing up Nick Young and Wesley Johnson at small forward. Nunnally also can man the power forward position if needed, which might give him an edge, despite Tyler’s high upside.

Western Rumors: Livingston, Hayward, Previews

September 12 at 10:55pm CDT By Cray Allred

The Clippers scandal that revolved around former owner Donald Sterling may be eclipsed by the Hawks race-fueled turmoil when all is said and done. The latter situation is still developing, and has extended down from the ownership box into Atlanta’s GM and scouting departments. Here’s a rundown of Western news and notes for the night:

  • On an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio, Shaun Livingston said that he hopes to be able to return to the court by the start of the Warriors‘ season, the channel tweeted (H/T Diamond Leung of Bay Area News Group). The veteran guard underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right big toe last month.
  • On his personal blog, Jazz forward Gordon Hayward recounts his summer. In addition to waxing about signing a max offer sheet, spending time with Team USA, and an offseason training regimen focusing on strength and shooting, Hayward says that he’s eager to start the new season and play for new coach Quin Snyder.
  • The Basketball Insiders crew previewed the 2014/15 season for the Pelicans, Nuggets, Jazz, Lakers, and Kings.